Keywords: Solidarity; European Union; Welfare; Stability; Crisis.
In this paper I argue that more solidarity, realistically conceived, is in the long-term enlightened self-interest of all European member states. I will first argue that the concept of solidarity combines two intuitions: solidarity is a set of feelings that supports group cohesion, and a set of transfers from the most advantaged to the most disadvantaged members of a group. Secondly, I will argue that solidarity is in the interest of each member of the community. It benefits the worst off by providing material assistance and avoiding that they fall below an acceptable minimum. Less obviously, it also benefits the most advantaged by stabilizing cooperation within a system that benefits them the most. Whether they know it or not, it is in their long term enlightened self-interest as well. Finally, I apply this normative argument to the case of the European Union and consider some objections.