Citizenship of the European Union - metaphor or source of rights

Essay by Micky_SmithUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, April 2004

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European Social Integration 2004

citizenship of the European Union - metaphor or source of rights

As of February 7th, 1992, citizenship of the European Union (EU; the 'Union') was conferred automatically on nationals of member countries of the European Community. Yet, before I commenced writing this essay I asked two members of the general public on the off chance to give to me their own brief assessment of European Citizenship and its associated rights. In addition to showing a complete lack of interest in the question, the responses were words to the effect of 'what???' and 'something to do with the EU'. Thus, despite frequent European inter-governmental meetings implementing new agreements or Treaty amendments, together with the poignant speeches of various foreign ministers voicing the potential that such developments hold for the people of Europe, it is submitted that a substantial number of the people of Europe are somewhat oblivious to the key aspects of such developments, including that of EU citizenship.

The focus of this essay is to look on the development of the concept of citizenship itself since the conception of the Maastricht Treaty. Of particular interest is whether the introduction of Union citizenship provisions initially added significantly to Community law, thus extending the extent of those rights already existing in the European Treaties, particularly the right of the free movement of persons. Furthermore, in addition to addressing the question of whether there now exists a self-standing right under Union citizenship from the perspective of Article 18, the essay will conclude by taking a general look at citizenship and asking whether a concept typically allied with a single nation state can be carried over to a higher level, that is to say, within the supranational boundaries of an establishment such as the European Union, a task which is...