EU Citizenship Without Duties

17 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2014

See all articles by Dimitry Kochenov

Dimitry Kochenov

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law

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Date Written: July 2014


Many believe that duties should be at the essence of citizenship. This paper dismisses this view, using EU law as the main context of analysis, by making five interrelated claims. (1) There are no empirically observable duties of EU citizenship; (2) such duties would lack any legal‐theoretical foundation, if the contrary were true; (3) legal‐theoretical foundations of the duties of citizenship are lacking also at the Member State level; (4) EU law plays an important role in undermining the ability of the Member States where residual duties remain to enforce them; (5) this development is part of a greater EU input into the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the Member States and reflects a general trend of de‐dutification of citizenship around the democratic world. If these conclusions are correct, it is time to stop categorising EU citizenship duties among the desiderata of EU law.

Suggested Citation

Kochenov, Dimitry, EU Citizenship Without Duties (July 2014). European Law Journal, Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 482-498, 2014. Available at SSRN: or

Dimitry Kochenov (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
Groningen, 9712 EK

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