Pluralism Through Its Denial: The Success of EU Citizenship
In Gareth Davies and Matej Avbelj (eds), Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), pp. 179–198
18 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2018 Last revised: 14 May 2019
Date Written: January 9, 2018
EU citizenship is derived from the nationalities of the Member States and thus seemingly obeys international law’s ‘anything goes’ pluralism: who is a citizen is for the states to decide. In practice, EU citizenship has effectively destroyed the ties between citizenship and state territory, offering virtually unlimited access to rights far beyond the conferring state’s territory. Since none of the Member States will be willing to give up the claim of sovereignty in nationality matters, holding on to the ‘full sovereignty in citizenship matters’ mantra, access to EU citizenship is paradoxically bound to be pluralist in nature precisely for the most antipluralist reasons. Thus, as part of a perpetual ‘clash of legal orders’, EU citizenship is a crucial federal denominator, shaping the ever-fluid vertical boundaries of competence.
Keywords: EU citizenship, pluralism, federalism, autonomy, nationality
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