This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 320294


Examining Tingsten’s Law of Dispersion: Can Higher Turnout Reduce Political Inequality?

Author: Michal Novy, Masaryk University, Czech Republic



Since some people are engaged in politics through their votes and others are not, it could be said that participation in elections is unequal. Many scholars argue that those who cast a ballot are mostly the socially privileged, and hence, policies enacted through legislative bodies are biased in favor of advantaged segments of society. According to Herbert Tingsten’s law of dispersion, originated in the 1930s, there might be a close relationship between the levels of voter turnout and political inequality: the higher the turnout, the lower the level of inequality. From this point of view, this study examines whether the countries which show high turnout rates are these where the level of political inequality is the lowest possible, and vice-versa. In order to get an adequate answer, the empirical analysis that utilizes the data from the European Social Survey (Rounds 4-6) is introduced below. Its results signify that Tingsten’s supposition is far from being a universal pattern of political behavior.


Download the full paper: Novy_Tingsten_s_law

Constitutional Protection of Economic Rights in EU Member States

Authors: Margarita Argüelles Vélez, Carmen Benavides González and Silvia Gómez Ansón, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain


The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union defines the economic the rights of European Citizens. In principle, given that the EU Charter constitutes a common base for the protection of economic rights in the member States, one would expect that constitutional recognition of economic rights in member States would not differ much. This paper describes the recognized economic rights in all EU member States and analyzes possible factors (such as legal origin, geographical location and history, or the type of Welfare State) that may help explain observed similarities and differences in the protection of citizen’s economic rights by EU member States. For that purpose, after categorizing economic rights, we have built a comprehensive database of economic rights and their level of protection in the Constitutions of all EU member States using as data source the database developed by the Toronto Initiative for Economic and Social Rights3, and the constitutional legal texts of member States. This data base reveals interesting differences in recognition of economic rights by EU member States.


Download the full paper: MA&CB&SGA

EU Citizenship: reality or fiction? A Law&Literature approach to EU citizenship

Author: Pauline Phoa, Utrecht University, The Netherlands


1. Introduction


O noble youth! and worthy of thy sire!

When I like thee was young, like thee of strength

And courage boastful, little did I deem

Of human policy; but long experience

Hath taught me, son, ’tis not the powerful arm,

But soft enchanting tongue that governs all.1


It may be a cliché, but we legal professionals use a lot of words. Is our choice of terms irrelevant? Is our vocabulary “normatively innocent”? What does it mean to use a certain word? How do we interact with our texts, and how do our (legal) texts shape reality?

The Law and Literature approach in legal theory teaches us that the law is not just a set of rules or institutions; it is a rhetorical and literary activity, and it can be analyzed as such.2 In Law&Literature methodologies, law is seen as an institution based on the idea of recognizing and understanding the other (literally and figuratively), a process in which one can tell her own story and be heard, thus, “law is a method of integration”3 or even “an artifact that reveals a culture”.4 In that sense, law is also symbolic: it plays a role in creating identity, and it can strengthen social cohesion.

EU law can thus be viewed as a normative and narrative corridor in which stories and values meet, and culture and communities are constituted. What happens if you take the aforementioned literary-legal point of view, and ‘unpack’ or deconstruct landmark cases on EU citizenship? What narrative(s) of EU citizenship may we find? What are its central terms of meanings and value? Is the notion (or narrative) of EU citizenship stable and determinate? If not, should we strive for that stability and determinacy, or should we keep re-imagining the EU citizen, ever-evolving, never reaching an end-point? What can we learn about narratives of in- and exclusion from classic works of literature, such as Philoctetes, by Sophocles?

In this paper, the author argues how a Law and Literature approach to EU citizenship helps to understand the way in which legal narratives shape EU citizenship rights.


Download the full paper: PPHOA Zagreb citizenship fact or fiction August 2015 revised

Construing Citizenship Rights in the EU Member States: Recent Adjudications of the European Court of Human Rights and the EU Court of Justice

Author: Nives Mazul Kumrić, University of Liège, Belgium



Scholarly discourses aiming to conceptualise and contextualise the notion of citizenship have flourished in the last couple of decades. The scope of the highlighted areas has been wide and varied, spanning themes from general citizenship theories to more specific reviews of peculiarities inherent to global, European Union, dual, social, transpolitical or other forms of citizenship. Thus, most debates have principally revolved around the framing of the very concept of citizenship and its prevalent modes, with only occasional legal reflections on the essence of the right to citizenship. This paper seeks to contribute to the existing literature on citizenship rights, by focusing on the recent authoritative interpretations of the leading European adjudicators in the domain of contemporary human rights protection: the European Court of Human Rights and the EU Court of Justice in relation to several EU Member States. In this fashion, the right to citizenship is addressed from the perspective of influential conventional and communitarian law systems, as construed in selected up-to-date judgements in the cases of Genovese v. Malta, Biao v. Denmark, Mennesson v. France, Jeunesse v. the Netherlands (ECHR) and Janko Rottmann v. Freistaat Bayern (ECJ). Along with the central analysis of the novel perspectives on the right to citizenship expounded in court rulings and their comparative assessment, the paper touches upon the corresponding theoretical and legal framework delineating the notion of citizenship (including EU citizenship) and the right to citizenship in general.


Download the full paper: NivesMazurKumric_Final Paper_bEUcitizen 2015

Citizens’ Family Life in EU Regulations, with Particular Respect to Property Regimes

Author: Cinzia Peraro, Verona University, Italy



European Union law in relation to family life is increasing and developing while continuing to have regard to Member State legislation, social values and traditions. The European perspective is apparent in two proposals for regulations concerning property regimes, two separate acts aimed at considering new forms of union, such as registered partnerships. The Commission has recognised the difficulties encountered by international couples in terms of the management of patrimonial effects and has pursued the objective of ensuring legal certainty. The present paper aims to offer a general analysis of interpretations of the concept of family in Europe, with particular reference to the Italian and English systems. The opinions by the two governments will be examined in order to put in evidence the main questions arising: the recognition and the continuity of civil status. Indeed, the concept of registered partnership is still a debated issue in Italian society, where not all forms of union are accepted, differently from the United Kingdom, which allows same-sex marriages and where civil partnerships are recognised. The need for uniformity in this field, in law and practice, is also remarked in the CEFL Principles regarding property relations between spouses, as well as in other, non-binding, instruments. Finally, despite the questions surrounding the concept of family, certain benefits are likely to accrue to European citizens as a result of the proposals in terms of the predictability of the applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions on property regimes.


Download the full paper: Cinzia Peraro_Zagabria_June 2015_rev

The ‘legal jungle’ of same-sex relationship recognition at the national and European level: a comparative constitutional law review

Author: Barbara Safradin, Utrecht University, The Netherlands



The definition of ‘marriage’ varies across the European Union (EU). An increasing number of Member States is willing to or is in the process of including same-sex couples under the notion of ‘marriage’. Family law in general and the regulation of marriage in particular is something that has remained in the hands of Member States. Although the Union is not competent to harmonise Member States’ family laws, general principles such as supremacy and full effectiveness of EU law require national laws to adhere both to the right to the free movement, as well as fundamental rights such as the non-discrimination principle. Since Member States have retained almost full power in the area of family law, significant differences are noticeable; certain States provide for different legal institutions, such as registered partnership or marriage to same-sex couples. At the other end of the spectrum there are Member States that do not provide for any legal recognition. Hence, samesex couples often face difficulties since the civil status they acquired in one Member State may not be recognized in other States. Moreover, Directive 2004/38 gives the host State the full discretion to define what constitutes a ‘family member’ under Article 2. Consequently, same-sex couples wishing to move and reside in another Member State may sometimes be denied the full benefits of EU citizenship. This paper focuses on the ‘legal jungle’ that same-sex couples face when moving and residing from one Member State to another. A comparative constitutional law review will be conducted at the national and European level in order to analyse which obstacles same-sex couples face when invoking their free movement rights in the EU. At the national level, the level of legal recognition of same-sex relationships in Croatia and Italy is explored. The research hereby aims to examine how these – profoundly Catholic – Member States have dealt with citizenship rights of mobile same-sex couples. This paper argues that the recognition of same-sex relationships depends strongly on the interaction between the judiciary and the legislature.

Download the full paper: Conference-Paper-bEUcitizen-June-2015_Barbara-Safradin


Welfare beyond Contribution? European Social Citizenship and the Citizenisation Nexus between Rights and Duties

Author: Angelika W. Schenk, University of Bremen, Germany



This study analyses the evolvement of European Social Citizenship, that is, non-economically active citizens residence and welfare rights as well duties across EU member states by raking the example of student mobility and cross-border access to study finance support schemes. First, it has become evident that the European Court of Justice has played a major role in shaping European Social Citizenship rights by extending initial Treaty provisions European Citizenship as introduced within the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. European Social Citizenship had materialised within the important 2001 Grzelczyk judgment for the very first time, followed by several other central ruling of the new millennium, which had all extended the material and personal scope of the Treaty based on personal mobility and non-discrimination provisions. This process would not have been anticipated by member states when they had first discussed the idea of European Citizenship in the making of the European Union, nor would this vast extension of individual rights been feasible solely on the basis of intergovernmentalist integration through the Council and the Parliament. Secondly, this study outlines the citizenisation nexus between rights and duties, which explains member states’ reactions to such Europeanisation mechanisms stemming from European court case law. It will be argued that the closer social citizenship rights and duties are matched, the less a system relies on redistributive mechanisms and the less it will be hampered by CJEU case law provisions on mobility of non-economically active persons. This mechanism will be found in the British case, reflecting a Liberal Market Economy. To the contrary, the looser the citizenisation nexus between rights and duties of a welfare scheme is, the more a system thus relies on redistributive mechanisms and the more European court jurisprudence will interfere into the system’s regulation, which will be expected to be found in Social Market Economies, which the German case study eventually confirms.




Download the full paper: 150607_SchenkA_paper_bEUcitizen_Zagreb_2015

Restrictions of the EU Citizen’s Mobility: Preventing Social and Health Tourism

Authors: Angel Espiniella-Menéndez, Pilar Jimenez Blanco, University of Oviedo, Spain



The restrictive perspective towards freedom of movement and freedom of residence of European Union citizens has been reflected in policy changes adopted in Spain in recent years, following the trend set by the central and northern European countries. However, Spain has certain peculiarities in its socio-economic context that explain the different impact of these restrictions.

From the socioeconomic perspective, the crisis has affected the Spanish economic model and generated an unemployment rate unknown in the rest of Europe. Furthermore the Spanish scenario is mainly affected by the immigration of third country nationals (mainly South America and North Africa). On the other hand, the mobility of EU citizens towards Spain is based on tourism or choice of residence for pensioners (non-active EU citizens). For this reason, the greatest burden for the Spanish social assistance as a result of European mobility occurs in the field of the healthcare.

Restrictions on the free movement of EU citizens: until 2012, residence in Spain of citizens of the EU was not submitted to any specific requirement. In 2012, the Royal Decree 16/2012 required the proof of the status of worker (with specific requirements) or the proof of the EU citizens have sufficient resources and sickness insurance in order to reside in Spain. Maybe this measure, respecting social tourism, has little real impact in Spain in comparison with the countries of central and northern Europe, considering the aforementioned immigration context. But these restrictions adopted in 2012 are more relevant in relation to health, because they intended to prevent the so called practice of “health tourism”.

Anyway, solutions of Spanish law have to be analyzed in the context of other proposals present in European law (particularly UK and Germany) in order to limit the right of residence of EU citizens. Following the Dano Case (C-333/13) of the CJEU, it could be possible to make a classification of restrictive national proposals to the right of residence of EU citizens:

-On the one hand, restrictions according to EU law: e.g., a deadline for finding employment or a waiting period to be eligible for social assistance or the requirement of a sickness insurance.

-On the other hand, restrictions contrary to EU law: e.g., the mere use of social assistance as an automatic ground of refusal of residence or the exclusion of worker status because of the salary is lower than the minimum wage of the host State.

Dano Case restates the issue of access to social benefits of the host State by EU citizens. The real problem is the limitation of residence right of EU citizens who are non-active citizens and have not sufficient economic resources. In such cases, European citizenship does not legitimize a residence in the host State based on “social tourism”.


Download the full paper: Jimenez-Blanco-Espiniella-Zagreb-Paper

Free Movement of Disabled People in the EU: the case of returned migrants to Spain

Authors: Ana Rosa Argüelles & Luis Antonio Fernández Villazón, University of Oviedo, Spain



Without doubt, one of the key elements of citizenship of the European Union is the right to “move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States”, recognized in article 20.2 a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (from now on TFEU). In addition, European citizens are guaranteed freedom of movement as workers within the Union (art. 45 TFEU), already a classic and iconic foundation of EU law. Article 48 lays the legal basis allowing the European Parliament and the Council to take the necessary measures to prevent workers who move to other Member States from losing or having undermined their social security rights. Considerable effort has been devoted to this end by the European institutions.

This is how coordination mechanisms of systems have been developed (Regulation CE/883/2004, of 29 April 2004, on the coordination of social security systems y Regulation EC/987/2009, of 16 September 2009, laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation EC/883/2004) and for the export of benefits, which prevent that the change of residence of the beneficiary to a Member State other than the debtor of said benefits means the revocation or suspension of such rights, or the modification, reduction or confiscation of the amount (Art. 7 Regulation EC/883/2004). This is true however, but with some limitations that mainly affect the “special non-contributory cash benefits” (Art. 70 Regulation EC/883/2004), linked to the social and economic context of the person concerned and of the state which recognizes them. This, is without doubt, one of the most elaborated and complete coordination mechanisms within European law.

Download the full paper: Ana Rosa A.-Villazon



Europeanization, Citizenship and Belonging: Politics and Policies of Immigration and Citizenship in Croatia

Author: Vedrana Baricevic



Paper analyses how European standards in immigration and citizenship were implemented in Croatian immigration and citizenship regime in the course of pre-accession. Analysis departs from the understanding that the outcomes of EU-led reforms depend not only on values, interests and strategies underpinned at the European level, but also on domestic traditions, institutions, preferences and strategies which impact how the EU policies are understood, accepted and translated into domestic context. Whereas the EU position in the area of membership has been ambiguous, producing in restrictive policies of membership; the paper takes the established EU framework as given and does not seek to analyze it. Instead, research is focused on understanding how such policies have been understood by domestic decision makers and translated to domestic policies of immigration and citizenship. Given that literature demonstrates that domestic traditions of nationhood and belonging serve as overarching interpretative framework for immigration and citizenship policies, author is particularly interested in understanding which role these notions have had in domestic approach to the reform.

In Croatia, the underlining notions of nationhood have been built up through the process of state-building and nation-building in the 1990s and have been defined by and large in ethnocentric understanding of belonging. As existing studies demonstrate, despite change in the nature of the regime (i.e. authoritarianism and nationalism) after 2000; conception of national community remained unchanged. This research seeks to analyse how the given notions impacted the reform and the status of diverse groups of population in Croatia. As it shall be argued, dominant model of belonging and membership motivated domestic decision makers to implement European demands in a minimalistic fashion, seeking to maintain desired state of affairs. In precise, European measures on immigration were accepted without much consideration of its content, but merely with an aim to strengthen restrictions and satisfy conditions for membership (while restrictive approach of the Union towards immigration went hand in hand with such tendencies). Reform of citizenship policies, which was under less straightforward (but still existing) impact of the Union, was instigated with the same aim and introduced limited number of changes. Preserving privileged position of ethnic Croatian members untouched, the reform of immigration and citizenship regime established several new channels of inclusion, but for rather limited number of immigrants: i.e. EU nationals, former Yugoslav citizens and particular categories of immigrants (highly qualified and/or prosperous migrants and migrants of certain professions).

First chapter gives an overview of existing literature on immigration and citizenship in the context of Europeanization. In the second part, the paper offers a brief overview of the issues of immigration, citizenship and belonging established in the process of state-building and nation-building in Croatia in the 1990s. It then follows with an analysis of domestic political debates occurring in the process of legislative reforms, i.e. the change in Aliens Law and Citizenship Law after 2000 (Chapter 3). In the final section (Chapter 4), the paper offers concise outline of new immigration and citizenship policies and their effects on inclusion and status of different parts of population in Croatia.


Download the full paper: Baricevic_Europeanization