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The Perception of Solidarity within the Transnational Legal Order: A Hidden Horizontal Guiding Principle?


Is solidarity to be perceived as a hidden horizontal guiding principle of European Union law and  is it in need of clarification?

If, so may this principle clarify the role of both rights and obligations of the Member States within a transnational legal order?

In other words, could solidarity as a guiding horizontal principle become an explanatory tool within a European Union transnational legal disorder?

How could the discussions concerning the principle of solidarity within Public International Law and transnational legal scholarship enlighten the analysis?

And lastly, does it matter how the hidden and horizontal guiding principle of solidarity within a transnational legal order is perceived?

Solidarity could be deemed to be a hidden horizontal principle inherent to nature of a transnational legal order. That is, various manifestations of the principle is found on the surface of the law but the principle as such is in strong need of clarification. This thesis will therefore aim to provide one line of interpretation on how a hidden horizontal guiding principle operates. This clarification will be deeply rooted within the discourse of transnational law. The question also remains whether solidarity as a hidden horizontal guiding principle could be able to fill the normative gaps where cohesion or common action is deemed necessary yet difficult to achieve. As Member States have voluntarily joined together in and conferred competences to the international realm in order to achieve objectives they have in common, an additional interrogation of the relationship between the explicit principle of conferral and the implicit and hidden principle of solidarity could yield important insights in order to understand the current legal dynamics and the positioning of solidarity as a horizontal guiding principle of EU law.

Thus, solidarity could as a guiding principle of EU law transcends old legal debates and reconnect to a rediscovery of the current legal mechanisms as well as ethical foundations of European integration by understanding its horizontal character. The legal analysis needs to incorporate elements from political psychology as the perception of solidarity as a legal horizontal guiding principle may be of crucial importance in uncovering its manifestations or the lack thereof. This research question is therefore aiming to go beyond black letter law, expand the investigation with elements borrowed from political psychology and ask whether solidarity as a principle may unlock the current transnational legal disorder to be found within the European Union and within the wider international legal realm.

As an underlying hypothesis, the following statement is made: if the Member States of the European Union collectively or individually cannot define or embody the notion of solidarity as a guiding principle, and unilateral actions are pursued without taking into consideration their effects on other Member States and the Union as a whole, what could be the consequences?