EU Citizenship and Political Identity: The Demos and Telos Problems
European Law Journal, Vol. 18, Issue 4, pp. 504-517, July 2012
14 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2010 Last revised: 1 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 01, 2013
Citizenship is the cornerstone of a democratic polity. It has three dimensions: affiliative – sense of belonging or identity, legal – rights, and civic – duties of participation. Citizens constitute the polity’s demos (its ‘people’), which often coincides with a nation. Now while EU citizenship was introduced with the purpose of enhancing ‘European identity’ understood as the Europeans’ sense of belonging to their political community, such citizenship has faced at least two problems. First: What demos is EU citizenship based on? Is there a European demos? If so, what is the status of the Member State nations (their demoi)? The European project had in mind, from the beginning, “an ever closer union among the peoples (not people) of Europe”. Second: Citizens are by definition members of a political community, a polity; to what kind of polity do EU citizens belong? How does this EU polity relate to the Member States polities? Does the EU substitute them, assume them as in a federation or coexist on the side of them? After an analytical exposition of the demos and telos problems, I will argue for a normative self-understanding of the EU polity and citizenship, neither in national nor in federal but in analogical terms.
Keywords: analogical, citizenship, demos, identity, mixed commonwealth, polity, telos
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