On Tiles and Pillars: EU Citizenship as a Federal Denominator
Dimitry Kochenov (ed) EU Citizenship and Federalism: The Role of Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp 3-82
80 Pages Posted: 5 May 2017 Last revised: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: May 5, 2017
This contribution defends the position that the positive potential of EU citizenship will not be realised unless EU citizenship is endowed with a structural role in the context of EU federalism. The core aspects of citizenship, including the practical application of equality and the functioning of rights are intimately and inescapably connected with the principles behind the drawing of the vertical competences boundary in Europe. Consequently – and possibly counter-intuitively – the key principles underlying the division of competences between the EU and the Member States are nothing else but the core aspects of the citizenship of the Union. This paper critiques the current status quo in EU citizenship law and literature, which tends to ignore this obvious consideration and defends the proposition of turning citizenship into a meaningful federal denominator in Europe, thereby using the framing of the boundary of supranational competences as a tool in the service of EU citizens and the Member States rather than as a justificatory tool for the exclusion of the most vulnerable from protection and the robbing of Europeans of dignity through the deployment of ethically and morally untenable triggers of jurisdiction in what has been called, oxymoronically, ‘the market citizenship’ of the EU. This is, thus, a substantiated plea for a decommodification of personhood in the EU.
Keywords: EU Citizenship, EU federalism, division of competences, rights, EU law
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