European Union Citizenship
Research eu, No. 13, 2008
50 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010
Date Written: 2008
The concept and content of Union citizenship has been contested ever since its introduction in the Maastricht Treaty. Citizens surely had rights before then: The Rome Treaty secured important basic rights and freedoms, and during the 1970s citizens gained the right to vote directly for representatives to an increasingly powerful European Parliament. But the term ‘citizenship’ goes further in that it implies a European multilevel political order. The following report identifies five main clusters of contentious issues and research themes on Union Citizenship. 1 What duties and virtues must the Union citizens have to ensure a sustainable European Union? 2 What beliefs and values must they share to uphold such duties? 3 Insofar as they must share a sense of belonging not only to their own state but to the Union as a whole, how may it best be fostered? 4 How can a multi-level political order such as the EU retain the trust of citizens that most others comply? 5 And how should Union institutions promote such a sense of citizenship? These issues have been addressed by 16 research projects funded by the European Commission. The report draws out policy implications for several actors, including the Commission, the European Parliament, as well as in national governments and for the leadership of political parties and other agents of civil society. Finally, it identifies several urgent topics for further research.
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