Criticism of European solidarity relies on three cornerstone arguments with mythological features. First is the “Myth of the Beggar”: it is believed that supranational solidarity is self-defeating, as it produces a moral-hazard scheme where endogenous incentives to reform (otherwise known as “market pressure”) are artificially removed. Second stands the “Myth of the Efficient Markets”: it is believed that solidarity, through its market-distortive effects, artificially allocates resources into less productive activities, thus decreasing the overall growth rate of the economy. Third is the “Myth of the Demos”: it is believed that democracy- and thus redistribution- can endure only within a single Demos, and thus no solidarity can exist outside of a Demos. This paper aims to challenge the view that any scheme of solidarity is self-defeating, inefficient and illegitimate, developing a notion of “federative solidarity” providing a solution to the three “myths”.
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