Citizenship and governance in the European Union

Author (Person) ,
Publication Date 2001
ISBN 0-8264-5348-1 (Hbk)
Content Type

Book abstract:

In the 1990s, as European integration continued to progress there was a general feeling that the EU was also moving further away from its citizens. In an effort to bridge this gap, the concept of European citizenship was introduced in the Maastricht Treaty and further clarified in the Treaty of Amsterdam. However, there has been much debate about what actually constitutes European citizenship and whether Europeans actually class themselves as European citizens. This book brings together experts on both the EU and citizenship to examine the evolution of European citizenship both in its own formal right and in the way policies and institutional practices give it its own real meaning.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part provides the analytical context of the book, looking at the content, scope and evolution of EU citizenship and arguing that member governments and individual citizens have just as an important role to play in shaping EU citizenship as the formal entitlements of the treaty. This argument is developed further in part two which focuses on the internal aspects of European citizenship including discussions of how the European Ombudsman and the European Court of Justice have played a role in the making of European citizenship. The bottom up approach - i.e. the role played by European citizens themselves - is also examined in this part, citing the example of how the struggles of lesbian and gay men have created the potential for a transnational public sphere. However, there continue to be shortcomings in the social dimension of European citizenship as analysed in the final section of part two. The external aspects of European citizenship are examined in part three with a discussion of the continued importance of the Member States in providing valued collective goods and the limitations in terms of the rights to diplomatic protection. The final chapter investigates EU immigration law and illustrates how the concept of European citizenship has not improved the rights of third country nationals.

Students of European integration will find this book useful in providing a clear and thorough analysis of the key aspects of European citizenship - one of the most important issues in European integration in recent years. It will also appeal to European citizens themselves seeking a better understanding of a status, which affects them but which has largely gone unnoticed by the majority.

Richard Bellamy is a professor of politics at the University of Reading. He has directed both a Leverhulme and an EC/TSER research programme on European citizenship and is currently involved in an ESRC- funded project on civic inclusion in pan-European society. Alex Warleigh also lectures at the University of Reading, but in the field of European Studies. He is currently working on another ESRC project on civil society formation in the enlarged EU.

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