“What does solidarity mean in Europe today? I believe that we’re facing our moment of truth, and the truth is: in Europe, we don’t always get along as well as we like to think we do. This became clear with the Brexit vote. When I discussed Brexit with a group of parliamentarians and intellectuals from Great Britain, that’s when I grasped it: I really don’t understand them. My only explanation was that they must be crazy. Yet somehow that isn’t right either. We have held Europe together for a long time around a fiction of understanding. That’s the moment of truth: we do not understand each other at all. … There is no template for solidarity called the European Union. It’s still undefined. Now we have to talk about it again with respect to reciprocity, we have to mutually look each other in the eye and say, ‘I do not understand you.’ And then, ‘How are we supposed to move forward?’ That’s a good way to get back to Europe.”
JOACHIM BESSING spoke to sociologist HEINZ BUDE on European solidarity in 032c Issue #36. CLICK FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW.