The Place for Prisoners in EU Law?

(2016), EUROPEAN PUBLIC LAW, VOL 22, PP 717-748

Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2019/08

28 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019 Last revised: 23 Apr 2019

Date Written: March 19, 2016


In recent years, a territorially unbounded power to imprison individuals within the EU has been developing. Such a dynamic has significantly impacted on EU citizenship law, which in turn has been strengthened by basing on residence the conferral of many rights. In this paper, I investigate what role prison and prisoners can have in EU law, with specific regard to EU citizenship. In order to answer such a question two scenarios are outlined, which embody the ways in which detention and Union citizenship have intertwined hitherto. Firstly are intersections between EU-grounded detention and EU citizenship. This group includes actual connections (as is the case of Wolzenburg Koslowski, Lopes Da Silva and I. B. CJEU’s decisions), as well as interplays which have not concretised yet (as shown by the Framework Decisions on transfer of prisoners and on probation measures). On the other, the mutual influence between state-grounded detention and EU citizenship. Recent CJEU cases such as Onuekwere and M. G. demonstrate that detention is capable of significantly affecting the rights provided for by EU citizenship. By reading these two scenarios through the conceptual couple integration/reintegration, I show strengths and weaknesses of the conditions of prisoners as EU citizens.

Suggested Citation

Mancano, Leandro, The Place for Prisoners in EU Law? (March 19, 2016). (2016), EUROPEAN PUBLIC LAW, VOL 22, PP 717-748; Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2019/08. Available at SSRN:

Leandro Mancano (Contact Author)

Edinburgh Law School ( email )

United Kingdom

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