Evaluating Union Citizenship: Belonging, Rights and Participation
Within the EU
Citizenship Studies, Vol. 12, No. 6, pp. 597–611, December 2008
43 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2009 Last revised: 12 Sep 2010
Date Written: December 7, 2009
Union citizenship often gets criticized for complementing rather than offering an alternative to citizenship at the member state level. By contrast, this article defends this complementarity as the most sociologically plausible and normatively acceptable role for this status. Citizenship as it developed within the member states combined the values of belonging, rights and participation. EU citizenship has attempted to develop the first from an attachment to the second, and to employ new and more selective forms of the third. However, neither rights nor participation prove sustainable without a fairly strong sense of belonging, such as has already developed within the member states. To seek to unravel the different ways these three values have modified and promoted each other in each of these states, as certain European Court of Justice (ECJ) cases threaten to do, undermines rather than enhances citizenship and its main achievements: the development of inclusive, democratic welfare systems.
Keywords: European citizenship, rights, belonging, participation
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