Citizenship's Role in the European Federation
Robert Schütze (ed.), Governance and Globalisation: International and European Perspectives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 305–336
33 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2018 Last revised: 14 May 2019
Date Written: March 12, 2018
EU citizenship plays a much more significant role in EU law than what the cursory reading of Part II TFEU could probably suggest. In fact, this status has outgrown its initial derivation logic and, together with the core principles of the internal market, including, especially, non-discrimination on the basis of nationality, plays a significant role in shaping the nationalities of the Member States of the EU and the rights these statuses bring to their holders. Once the derivation logic emerged in a new light, EU citizenship’s necessary potential to inform the inner-workings of outlining the scope of EU law – the core ‘federal question’ – came to the fore. The EU is still in the middle of a clash between the cross-border internal market logic of scope of the law determination and the ideals of human dignity and human rights protection which are indispensable for any citizenship in any constitutional system to be effective. Rights- and dignity-based arguments are mute in a situation where the scope of the law is determined based on the internal market considerations. Rights claims end up dismissed as non-existent in the eyes of the EU in a federation designed, precisely, not to see human suffering of those it cannot use to the good end of market integration. Such people become invisible and enjoy no protection of the law. There are ways to change this, turning the EU into a constitutional system resting on ethically and morally justifiable rights and principles, as opposed to the logical aberration of ethically contingent acts, such as the fetishisation of cross-border travel. There are good reasons behind the fact that no other democracy fails its citizens on the pretext that they have not taken the bus enough: the EU’s untenable approach has to change and this chapter explains both why and how.
Keywords: EU federalism, EU citizenship, division of powers, scope of EU law, fundamental rights
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