Solidarity is a founding principle of the European Union. It’s based on the idea of sharing both advantages and burdens fairly between EU Member States. However, what that actually means in practice is ambiguous. Calls for greater solidarity were common during both the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis and the 2015-16 migration crisis, yet critics argue the EU fell short.

Will the economic response to the pandemic be different? The EU’s recovery plan (#NextGenerationEU) is worth more than €800 billion, representing the EU’s largest stimulus package ever. Will it be enough to help repair the socio-economic damage brought about by COVID-19?

Several of the young Europeans we talked to for our 100 European Voices focus group project were sceptical. For example, Mark from Hungary told us he was frustrated with red tape and the amount of support when it came to economic support from his government:

There is so much bureaucracy with [state support during the pandemic]. It’s also too little to rely on. So, I thought that it’s not worth hassling with.

What’s the picture like between governments? Has there been enough EU economic solidarity? To get a policymaker perspective, we put this question to members of the European Parliament from all political groups. Expand the cards below to find out what politicians think of the EU’s response to the pandemic:

Radical Left
Chris MacManus (GUE-NGL), Member of the European Parliament:

Nilas Nienass  (Greens/EFA), Member of the European Parliament:

Liberal Democrats
Dragoș Pîslaru  (Renew), Member of the European Parliament:

Centre Right
Lena Düpont  (EPP), Member of the European Parliament:

Assita Kanko (ECR), Member of the European Parliament:

The Recovery and Resilience Facility of the EU makes €672.5 billion in grants and loans available for helping to recover from the pandemic. I do support the idea of a common EU-recovery plan, but one that is wisely implemented. Solidarity should be expressed in long-term, sustainable support for growth and innovation. We cannot burden future generations with debt for solving short-term needs.

Maximilian Krah (ID), Member of the European Parliament:

Curious to know more about economic solidarity between EU countries during COVID? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

Has there been enough economic solidarity between EU countries during COVID? Have European governments supported one another during the pandemic? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image credits:  BigStockPhoto – (c) wjarek

16 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Come on we all saw that Northern Europeans think that people from South people are trash, just because they are not so disciplined. Shame on you. Nobody wants to help each other. In theory we are suppose to be together, but in practicality is not like that. All of these North European countries want to keep their money to themselves. You are rubbish.

    • avatar
      EU Reform Proactive

      Dear MR. MYSTER,

      Oh no! Common human decency requires that some mysterious folks are better advised to refrain dividing European “Northerners” and “Southerners”!

      Criticism is acceptable if constructive, but different to pejorative name calling which inflames hostile feelings towards others. Ever heard of hate speech?

      Imagine, what would happen if “Northern European” tourists would end spending their holiday (money) in a “not so disciplined” South because they feel disrespected, unwelcome & threatened?

      You owe all decent Northern Europeans and your decent fellow countrymen an apology- not so?

      And you missed the point believing in “sentimental” togetherness!

  2. avatar
    Erik Vanden Abeele

    Solidarity is not what media report. Real solidarity is what really happens. Like German hospitals caring for europeans other than germans. It’s flemish belgians helping their Walloon neighbours when flood destroys their homes. Solidarity is not giving monney to organisations you con’t control. It’s just checking that the help comes for them in need.

  3. avatar

    Why do Eurofanatics call everyone else “Eurosceptics” 🤨 ?

  4. avatar

    All of them took bribes from same people !!! So they all do what those people are telling them to do !!!!! Europe is dead the borders are back and discrimination to

  5. avatar

    Not at all !! European Union is fake

  6. avatar

    Free Julian Assange, we can only be free when telling the truth is free

  7. avatar

    The EU is indirectly blackmailing sovereign governments to pressure their free citizens into vaccinating so they get their hands on the rewards of EU COVID funds. Like IMF conditional loans. Stick it to the people so the mega-rich can get obscenely rich. “Oh, it’s just guidelines, that if you don’t follow you get no money!”

  8. avatar

    Agree. EU made it simple and easy, removing the burden from national member states. Doing all the dirty work, that’s what the EU does. And I love it for this.

    • avatar

      Bartoszcze This call injustice and exploitation.slavery is not yet abolish.its has take form in the goverment and leaders of our societies.

  9. avatar

    Get lost, moneygrabbing EU !

    • avatar

      Kristine also for you , so you can profit from the euro. If we stil would have the BF … that would be a disaster. You picked info about the EU without having the knowledge how it really works. Of course the EU is not perfect but the budget is about 1% of total GDP . If our government could be as efficient , all Belgian citizens would be very rich😂🦊

    • avatar

      Kristine since 20 years of EU they globalize the world and taking their controls.

  10. avatar

    what kind of nonsense question is this? This whole covid-propaganda is centrally organized and politicians are just puppets that serve the corporation. all idi*ts that think different, ya all better look at official EU papers from 2016 – EU started to implement preparations for vaccine passports already in 2018 ! don’t believe me – just read it yrself:…/docs/2019-2022_roadmap_en.pdf

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