• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13

What does citizenship mean in the European context?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What does citizenship mean in the European context? Citizenship, broadly speaking, entails liberties, rights or entitlements and duties; and it involves the sense of 'belonging' that is also necessary to full membership of a political community Though nationality and citzenship may overlap ideologically, a recent survey of twelve member states of the EU(Gardner, ed., 1997; see also Qvortrup and Hazell, 1998 on the Nordic League) shows that, in practice, it is not the case that all citizenship rights are reserved for nationals. There is, however, no wholly uniform pattern about which rights are extended by states to resident 'neighbours' from other countries - or duties imposed on them. Rights to vote in General Elections are largely reserved to nationals - as in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. But Irish nationals resident in the UK have always been eligible to vote in British General Elections and British nationals in Ireland have been able to do so since 1985. This restriction also applies in the same countries, plus Ireland, to eligibility to be a candidate. Prior to the implementation of the Maastricht Treaty, non-nationals were allowed, however, to vote and stand in local elections in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain [in limited circumstances], and the UK [Irish and Commonwealth nationals]. Now, member states with basic nationality restrictions make exceptions for resident other EC nationals (as they do for elections to, and standing for, the European Parliament). In eight countries where referendums are permitted, the right to vote is not restricted to nationals in Denmark and Germany. In ten countries with petition rights, they are extended to all residents, except in Italy and Spain. With certain restrictions, nationals and non-nationals have rights to assembly and to form associations in all twelve countries. In none of the twelve countries surveyed is access to the courts barred by nationality but they vary as to whether non-nationals are entitled to legal aid and there are differences over the jurisdiction of the courts. ...read more.

Middle

(1) Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Although the Citizenship Chapter and its Article 8 are part of the Community Pillar, the citizenship established is, supposedly, Union citizenship. It would be strange if Community nationals would be citizens of the Community but not of the Union. After all, it was the move from Community to Union which was to mark the TEU. But the prevailing view among Member States at least, is that the Union, as such, has no legal personality. How can one be a citizen of an entity which has no legal personality? This might be seem a quibble with no consequences. Consider, however, the following. Article 8 continues: 2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights conferred by this Treaty and shall be subject to the duties imposed thereby. In a system based on the Rule of Law rights and duties are, for the most part, backed by judicial enforcement. The High Contracting Parties of the TEU, however, excluded as far as they could the jurisdiction of the Court from the Pillars 2 and, significantly, Pillar 3. On one view this means that no rights and duties are imposed on individuals outside the Community Pillar or, that whatever rights and duties were created, would not, in the intention of the States, be enforceable. The impression of at least a measure of cynicism in this respect is suggested by the following. Article 8d provides a couple of the rights to be enjoyed by Union citizens. Every citizen of the Union shall have the right to petition the European Parliament in accordance with Article 138d. Every citizen of the Union may apply to the Ombudsman established in accordance with Article 138e. We already noted that the right of petition pre-dated the TEU. So it was just a matter of reassigning a name. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Treaties on this reading would have to be seen not only as an agreement among states (a Union of States) but as a "social contract" among the nationals of those states -- ratified in accordance with the constitutional requirements in all Member States -- that they will in the areas covered by the Treaty regard themselves as associating as citizens in this civic society. We can go even further. In this polity, and to this demos, one cardinal value is precisely that there will not be a drive towards, or an acceptance of, an over-arching organic-cultural national identity displacing those of the Member States. Nationals of the Member States are European Citizens, not the other way around. Europe is "not yet" a demos in the organic national-cultural sense and should never become one. One should not get carried away with this construct. Note first that the Maastricht formula does not imply a full decoupling: Member States are free to define their own conditions of membership and these may continue to be defined in national terms. But that, in my view, is the greatest promise of introducing supranational citizenship into a construct the major components of which continue to be States and nations. The National and the Supranational encapsulate on this reading two of the most elemental, alluring and frightening social and psychological poles of our cultural heritage. The national is Eros: Reaching back to the pre-modern, appealing to the heart with a grasp on our emotions, and evocative of the romantic vision of creative social organization. But we know that darkness lurks too. The Supranational is Civilization: Confidently modernist, appealing to the rational within us and to Enlightenment neo-classical humanism. Here, too, we are aware of the frozen and freezing aspect this humanism might take. Martin Heidegger is an unwitting ironic metaphor for the difficulty of negotiating between these poles earlier in this Century. His rational, impersonal critique of totalistic rationality and of modernity remain a powerful lesson to this day; but equally powerful is the lesson from his fall: An irrational, personal embracing of an irrational, romantic pre-modern nationalism run amok. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent has the European Union been successful in "establishing" a coherent European ...

    And besides that no one can doubt that a united Europe is an important component in the global economy. Just taking the EU into consideration, the export was increased by 4 times between 2001 and 2005. (Hui,Z, 2006) Because of the crisis credit in the United States, maybe the EU

  2. Has Europe become a federal superstate?

    They stated that under the European Communities Act 1972, the law regulating the UK's membership of the EU, it had "always been clear that it was the duty of a United Kingdom court when delivering final judgment, to override any rule of national law found to be in conflict with any directly enforceable rule of Community law."

  1. "What is the importance of the concept of citizenship in the development of EC ...

    That would mean the same rights to benefit payment as well as employment opportunities and housing. This would mean that citizens would be able to travel anywhere within the EC communities in order to obtain suitable employment. The rights also extend to the immediate family of the citizen regardless of

  2. The Institutional Consequences of Domestic Politics on Africa's International Relations and Regional Cooperation.

    Has African problems changed thereby requiring a change in the name of the Organization. Are there going to be new problems or will the new Union through its structures and procedures going to tackle those problems that could not effectively be handled to the satisfaction of its founding fathers of OAU?

  1. An Analysis of the Powers of the European Parliament.

    If the Commission does not accept the amendments then the EP may judge the position of the Commission unsatisfactory and as a result may seek to delay the progress of the proposal by referring it back to the appropriate Parliamentary Committee.

  2. How important is the European Parliament?

    The EP receives so little media attention in fact (see the lack of a TV channel in the UK showing the EP at its work, as with "BBC Parliament" for example), except when there is a scandal, it is no surprise election turnout is so low.

  1. Transformation of the U.S. Hegemony in Europe through NATO after the Cold War

    Secondly, the term Common European Security and Defense Policy is chosen to create a common understanding around the term Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Finally, the "E" in ESDI represents all the European members of NATO whereas "E" in ESDP only represents the members of EU.15 According to some

  2. Is it possible to talk of civil society beyond the nation-state? Although a clich, ...

    It works intrinsically with the state governing body, but is unattached to it. "Civil society is not the state: it is non-official, non-governmental. Civil society groups are not formally part of the state apparatus; nor do they seek control of state office."8 A global society; contrary to its communitarian interpreters

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work