Citizenship Progress


Citizenship has been at the centre of the Union project well before its establishment in the Maastricht Treaty. It is indeed linked to the principles of free movement and non-discrimination that are the base of the Union itself. On the other side it derives from the experience of the two World Wars and the Holocaust: this is the reason why citizenship of the Union has been conceived as an antidote to nationalism and is therefore based on diversity (starting from languages) and on an identity linked to everyday life rather than on strong feelings. This is also the reason why the Union has tended to enlarge its boundaries including new countries and becoming more and more a space of high quality of life in the European continent. As massive migrations towards EU countries show, this is true also in times of economic crisis.

Community citizenship, thus, corresponds to a Union which is not a good or bad copy of a model, but rather a “democratic experiment”, consisting in trying to build a system of democratic institutions starting from a market, without establishing a new state entity.

Moreover, citizenship of the European Union is not a fixed legal status, but is rather a social, cultural, political and institutional process. Its development can be detected only if, beside the EU Treaties, the Community Acquis and citizenship practices are considered as well and only if, together with the one of rights, also the membership and participation components are taken into account.

These are the reasons why a focus of the EUProact website is devoted to the progress of European citizenship and the challenges it is facing. The purpose is to follow the enlargement of citizenship of the Union, both with regard to its content and scope.






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