Extending citizenship rights to third country nationals? The correlation between migration and integration

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details No.175
Publication Date 2001
ISBN 92-9079-353-8
Content Type


Various issues arise in the European context with respect to the boundaries of citizenship; one of the main questions is to what extent the division between the European Union citizens and third country nationals will increase, especially if 'deepening' of the Union leads to more tightening of its external borders. This paper addresses the question of how far citizenship rights can be extended to third country migrants in the EU?

The paper is divided into two parts; the first is a brief theoretical approach to questions about the parameters of citizenship in the EU. The second part focuses on Italy and Spain as new receiving states affected by North / South migration in the Mediterranean (their policies, people's attitudes, internal distribution of migrants, etc.) and compares their current position with the countries who have had a tradition of labour immigration since the1960s. It contrasts policy and practice vis-à-vis Maghrebi nationals in these two countries, although both are Mediterranean states in close geographical proximity to North Africa. The analysis suggests that the problems encountered by the different Mediterranean EU members have, in some respects, to be treated on an individual basis.

My empirical focus is mainly centred on labour immigration from the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and the public policy implications for the EU as a supranational Community rather than as a group of individual member states. I have chosen the Maghrebi immigrants not only because they constitute a high percentage of immigrants residing and working at present in the EU (about 2.5 million), but because their numbers have increased significantly (for both economic and political reasons). The empirical material largely relates to legally resident migrant workers in the EU and their families.

The conclusion attempts to show why the EU cannot avoid dealing with this issue at least to some extent. The development of the EU's principles of the free movement of persons within the Community in order to work in another Member State, equal treatment and social justice will be tested as they apply to the position of legally resident third country nationals.

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