The European Court of Justice and Citizenship of the European Union: New Developments Towards a Truly Fundamental Status

Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, Vol. 5, Issue 4, pp. 498-537, December 2011

40 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2011 Last revised: 22 Feb 2012

See all articles by Michaela Hailbronner

Michaela Hailbronner

University of Münster

Sara Iglesias Sánchez

Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Administrative Law Department; Court of Justice of the European Union

Date Written: September 14, 2011

Abstract

In two recent, revolutionary decisions, – Janko Rottmann C-135/08 and Ruiz Zambrano C-34/09 – the European Court of Justice has firmly emancipated the status of citizenship of the Union from the “cross-border” requirement and has inaugurated a new area for the protection of rights closely linked to the core of sovereignty of States, nationality and residence. This Article examines these two judgments and argues that they advance the construction of citizenship towards a federal status. The “genuine enjoyment of the substance of citizenship rights” has emerged as a new legal category capable of providing a uniform and general protection and entails the affirmation of a core of rights of supranational nature. This new development raises questions as to whether the ECJ’s expansionist reading of citizenship constitutes a legitimate exercise of judicial power and what the relationship between citizenship and EU fundamental rights will be. We conclude by exploring the potential of the analyzed judgments in placing Union citizenship at the center of the emergence of a constitutional patriotism in Europe.

Keywords: European law, federalism, Union citizenship, migration, constitutional patriotism

Suggested Citation

Hailbronner, Michaela and Iglesias Sanchez, Sara, The European Court of Justice and Citizenship of the European Union: New Developments Towards a Truly Fundamental Status (September 14, 2011). Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, Vol. 5, Issue 4, pp. 498-537, December 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1927198

Michaela Hailbronner (Contact Author)

University of Münster ( email )

Schlossplatz 2
Muenster, D-48149
Germany

Sara Iglesias Sanchez

Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Administrative Law Department ( email )

Pl. Menéndez Pelayo 4
Madrid, Madrid 28040
Spain

Court of Justice of the European Union

Boulevard Konrad Adenauer
Kirchberg, L-2925
Luxembourg

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