Since the start of the project in February, the members of the BMBF-funded research network Solidarity through Security? Discourses, Interactions and Practices of European Solidarity in the Field of Security (ZUSE) has been actively working together. The project partners are especially interested in how and to what extent the EU is presenting and considering itself as a source for comprehensive security and protection for its citizens in times of multiple crises, and whether this will become a new guiding narrative for the organization of solidarity and cohesion within and between European societies. ZUSE also investigates the ambivalent consequences of such a conception, for example with a view to exclusion dynamics, for example. On 17 and 18 June the ZUSE team formally kicked off the project with a digital workshop. The first day of the event was used to refine the overall conceptual framework and prepare the further empirical work. In an exchange with Catarina Kinnvall (Lund University), one of the leading researchers in the field, the project partners also discussed the concept of “ontological security”, which plays a crucial role in the project.
Project with many partner institutions from politics and society at large
The second day of the workshop focused on the official kick-off event with ZUSE's implementation partners. The partners in attendence included the Hamburg's and Schleswig-Holstein's permanent representatives to the European Union, the Europa-Union Deutschland and the Federal Agency for Civic Education. The participants debated the state of the project and the further objectives for the coming three years. The project partners showed a deep interest in ZUSE's ideas and plans. Finally, the political and societal relevance of the project was illustrated in a debate about its insights on current developments regarding the EU’s strategy for the establishment of a “Security Union”.