A Critical Perspective on Associate EU Citizenship after Brexit

DCU Brexit Institute - Working paper N. 5 - 2018

University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 12/2018

20 Pages Posted: 22 May 2018 Last revised: 29 May 2018

See all articles by Martijn van den Brink

Martijn van den Brink

Hertie School of Governance

Dimitry Kochenov

CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest; CEU Department of Legal Studies, Vienna

Date Written: May 8, 2018

Abstract

UK nationals will lose their EU citizenship status as a result of the Brexit referendum. To prevent this, several commentators, including the European Parliament Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, proposed the grant of associate EU citizenship to UK nationals to safeguard their rights as EU citizens after Brexit. We make the case against associate EU citizenship, dismissing it on three grounds. First, it violates the letter and the spirit of EU law: the Treaties make the enjoyment of EU citizenship status contingent on the possession of a Member State nationality and require the Union to respect the rule of law as well as the constitutional traditions of the Member States. Second, it violates core EU values amounting to a tool for the EU to pre-empt vital democratic choices at the national level, thus undermining the established division of powers between the Union and the Member States as well as the effet utile of Article 50 TEU. Third, it is against the EU’s interests, as associate EU citizenship fails to respect reciprocity in EU relations with third countries and undermines the coherence of the edifice of EU constitutionalism. Besides being legally unsound he idea of associate EU citizenship thus fails on normative and on pragmatic grounds.

Keywords: EU citizenship, associate citizenship, brexit, free movement, tyranny

Suggested Citation

van den Brink, Martijn and Kochenov, Dimitry and Kochenov, Dimitry, A Critical Perspective on Associate EU Citizenship after Brexit (May 8, 2018). DCU Brexit Institute - Working paper N. 5 - 2018, University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 12/2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3175318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3175318

Martijn Van den Brink

Hertie School of Governance ( email )

Friedrichstraße 180
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Dimitry Kochenov (Contact Author)

CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

CEU Department of Legal Studies, Vienna ( email )

Quellenstraße 51
Vienna, 1100
Austria

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