EU Citizenship: Some Systemic Constitutional Implications

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Table of Contents: I. Citizenships in Europe: harmony and conflict. – I.1. A curious legal status perched on limitations. – I.2. EU citizenship: two lessons. – II. EU citizenship: questioning the established narrative. – II.1. Empowering the citizen – Humiliating the State. – II.2. Promoting democracy – Undermining democratic outcomes. – II.3. Promoting non-discrimination – Undermining equality. – II.4. Implications for the rule of law: the sole possibility of one type of constitutionalism. – III. We have time: the new picture is here to stay.

Abstract: European citizenship, although derived from the nationalities of the Member States, came to play a significant independent role in reforming European constitutionalism in unanticipated ways by undermining some of the key assumptions underlying the notions of citizenship, equality and democratic accountability. Instead of lingering merely as a super-structure atop Member State nationalities, it instead reshuffles the constitutional basics and not all Europeans emerge as winners as a result. This brief Article provides an introductory background for the Special Section on EU citizenship and rights of European Papers, Vol. 3, 2018, No. 3 and outlines some of the core tensions which EU citizenship brings to light.

Keywords: EU citizenship – equality – justice – conferral – wholly internal situations – Member State nationalities.

European Papers, Vol. 3, 2018, No 3, pp. 1061-1074
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/262

* Professor of EU Constitutional Law, University of Groningen,


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