'If Union Citizenship is the Right Answer, What is the Question?'
EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP: THEORIES, ARENAS, LEVELS, pp. 35-60, P. Foradori, S. Piattoni and R. Scartezzini, eds., Nomos, 2007
31 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2010 Last revised: 5 Oct 2011
Date Written: 2007
The most common office in the EU is at the same time hotly contested. Ever since Union citizenship was introduced in the Maastricht Treaty, its content and role has been opaque and challenged by scholars. The Constitutional Treaty for Europe confirmed that Union Citizenship provided little clarification. Union citizenship is not meant to replace national citizenship, but is held by every national of a Member State: Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights and be subject to the duties provided for in the Constitution. Beyond this somewhat anemic list of rights, duties are still barely mentioned, and the point of the office of citizenship is still obscure. Crucial questions are left unanswered. What should be required of citizens, on what grounds? For instance, what need, if any, is there to insist that they share European values and objectives, and respect diverse national values, culture, history? May Union citizens be required to learn about, respect, and even be socialized to, the facts, beliefs and common European values - and each others’ ‘national culture’? Should they be made to accept the values and objectives stated in the Preamble? A political theory of Union Citizenship has little to build on to answer such questions about the most defensible role and contents of the office of Union citizenship. The following remarks present and defend some components of such an account. It interprets Union citizenship as one means to provide much needed assurance and trust in a multi-level political order with democratic procedures. This fits with the received view among scholars, that Union Citizenship was introduced in an attempt to create a closer bond between Europeans and the Union institutions.
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