Union Citizenship and Beyond
19 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2018
Date Written: 2018
In this essay the development, since 1992, of the concept of European citizenship is traced, alongside the changing attitude of the author towards this novel status. The blurred edges of the concept are explored. Connecting factor to European citizenship is the possession of the nationality of a member state. Is nationality identical with ‘peoples’ in the Treaties? And: are member states the masters of definition of who are their nationals? And is the status of European citizen really dependent on the nationality of member states, or is it gradually the other way round, given the view of the ECJ that the first is 'intended to be the fundamental status'? Although there is no transfer of competence of nationality law, nevertheless domestic laws should have ‘due regard to European law.’ In Rottmann a decision by national authorities was subjected to the European principle of proportionality, in Tjebbes a whole legal provision in the national law of the Netherlands was, according to the AG, not in line with Union law. This is a constitutional battle, as the definition of its nationals is a constituent part of being a (member) state. Brexit sheds a new light on the importance of Union citizenship, primarily as its entrance to the freedom of movement. Finally, a number of loose ends are identified and questions formulated.
Keywords: European citizenship; Member state nationality; Peoples; Fundamental status
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