The Surprising Warmth of Cold Solidarity

online lecture (in Dutch) on 29 June 2020

In journal columns professors Willem Lemmens (University of Antwerp) and Paul Scheffer (universities of Amsterdam and Tilburg) hold a plea for community solidarity. They are skeptical of the capability of supranational institutions to foster solidarity on a European scale. Professor Frank Vandenbroucke (universities of Amsterdam and Antwerp) reacts in defense of European structural solidarity. UCSIA brings them together in an online debate within its U-Turn programme. 

In times of crisis solidarity moves to the fore of the social agenda. Following the health crisis, the incapacity of Europe to react in a concerted manner fuels the discussion.

At an UCSIA conference on ‘Food Aid and Social Policy in Europe’ political philosopher Patrick Riordan SJ admitted that solidarity at the level of supranational institutes is often experienced as distant and cold. This ‘cold’ solidarity needs to be linked to ‘warm’ solidarity: the engagement of citizens for their immediate community. The principle of subsidiarity is key. Higher instances need to encourage responsibility on the local level and this should be embedded within a more structural ‘cold’ framework. Social security is a necessary institutional instrument to combat poverty. Social problems need to be tackled on local, national and European levels on a structural basis. How may warm and cold solidarity serve as a lever for social resilience for all Europeans, now that we are again, in the wake of this crisis, faced with increasing poverty?

Date & Time

29 June 2020
7.00 – 8.30 pm




Attendance is free,
but don’t forget to register in advance.


Koningstraat 2
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60

Voorlopige locatie tijdens de renovatiewerken:
Blindestraat 14, 2000 Antwerpen