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SOLID project awarded with the prestigious ERC Synergy Grant 201826-10-2018

Resulting from a synergy between Maurizio Ferrera, The University of Milan, Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute, and Waltraud Schelkle, London School of Economics, the project aims at envisaging scenarios and perspectives allowing for a politically SOLID European Union.

The project “SOLID -Policy Crisis and Crisis Politics, Sovereignty, Solidarity and Identity in the Eu post 2008” has been awarded with a ERC Synergy Grant 2018, worthing more than 9.5 million Euros.

Led by Maurizio Ferrera, professor of Political Science at The University of Milan, Hanspeter Kriesi, professor of Political Science and Stein Rokkan Chair at the European University Institute, and Waltraud Schelkle, professor in Political Economy at the London School of Economics, SOLID is among the 27 winners of the highly-coveted ERC Synergy Grant 2018 call for projects.

Part of the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the ERC Synergy Grants are particularly prestigious as they award excellent projects addressing complex research questions by bringing together complementary skills, disciplines and resources. Out of the 295 research proposals which were evaluated in the 2018 calls, only 9% will receive a funding of approximately 10 million Euros, with 88 lead researchers who will carry out their projects at different universities and research centers across the European Research Area.

The University of Milan stands out as one of the very first Italian institutions to host a Synergy Grant.

SOLID, a project envisioning a durable EU 

SOLID is the result of the synergic work of the three outstanding Principal Investigators – Maurizio Ferrera, Hanspeter Kriesi and Waltraud Schelkle – on the future of the EU.

Starting from the analysis of the unprecedented shocks faced by EU in the last decade,and from its resilience, indeed, SOLID aims at understanding how and why "doom" and "elation" can go together, through a retrospective analysis of the political crisis that can cast light on the nature of this unexpected resilience.

At the apex of the crisis, EU leaders managed to agree on strategies for recovery. It is true that extremely vocal Eurosceptic formations have scored increasing success in a number of countries. Data show, however, that in all member states – save the UK - there are still significant majorities supporting EU and integration.

EU is still fragile and its durability remains an open question, even though new capacities were created during the long crisis. What still remains unclear is how robust they are and whether developing them further will encounter insurmountable obstacles, including resentment by citizens, that is why SOLID will focus on fundamental research questions such as:

  • reasons that made foundational conflicts emerge and escalate during the crisis
  • political dynamics activated by each shock that lead to crisis policy making and crisis politics
  • coalitional dynamics operating during the euro area crisis, the social crisis, the refugee crisis, the membership crisis (Brexit and intra-EU separatism)
  • the best way to account for key episodes and decisions which underpinned resilience.

A key aim of the project will be to envisage scenarios and perspectives allowing for a durable and politically SOLID European Union, taking into account tensions and disagreements that unleashed three foundational conflicts: sovereignty (who decides), solidarity (who gets what when and why) and identity (who we are).