Against 'Associate EU Citizenship'

25 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2019 Last revised: 22 Jul 2019

See all articles by Dimitry Kochenov

Dimitry Kochenov

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

Martijn van den Brink

Hertie School of Governance

Date Written: February 20, 2019


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. Second, it violates core EU values, including the EU’s promise of respect for the constitutional traditions of the Member States, and the values of democracy and the Rule of Law. 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.

Keywords: Bexit, Citizenship, EU Law, Associate Citizenship, Rights, Article 50

Suggested Citation

Kochenov, Dimitry and Kochenov, Dimitry and van den Brink, Martijn, Against 'Associate EU Citizenship' (February 20, 2019). 57 JCMS 2019 (Forthcoming), University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 4/2019, Available at SSRN: or

Dimitry Kochenov

CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051

CEU Department of Legal Studies, Vienna ( email )

Quellenstraße 51
Vienna, 1100

Martijn Van den Brink (Contact Author)

Hertie School of Governance ( email )

Friedrichstraße 180
Berlin, 10117

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