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



Authors: dr. Davide De Pietri, dr. Raúl I. Rodríguez-Magdaleno

EU Citizenship was created in order to legitimize the action of the EU, aiming at building up a close relation between the Organization and the citizens of the Member Countries, a narrative intended to make way and gain support of the national of states not as mere addressees of the norms, but as political actors in the integration process. The acclaimed step taken in 1992 and its perspectives seem to have been a storm in a tea cup after 13 years of development and frustrated expectations, most of them provoked by the fact that the catalogue of rights supposed to make up the special status of EU citizens are, on closer inspection, far from being exclusive. One of the reasons pinpointed to justify the current position of EU citizenship is related to the historical development of this juridical figure, given that as D. Kochenov has put it:

“While EU citizenship quite clearly pre-dates the Treaty of Maastricht, its pre-Maastricht emanation was necessarily and unquestionably driven by the logic of the internal market, as the proto-citizenship emerged directly from the economic free movement provisions coupled with the non-discrimination instruments directly connected to the functioning of the economic freedoms. This is not to say, though, that this meant that only strictly economic actors were covered. From its early days, market-based integration tended to outgrow the market –this is what spill-over is about after all. To put it differently, already before the entry into force of the treaty of Maastricht, the proto-citizenship of the EU-to-be was not co-extensive in its scope with the market freedoms sensu strict […] Crucially, Part II TFEU does not define EU citizenship with reference to the internal market. More important still, it does not require the citizens to engage with the internal market in any way. The distinct nature of the concept is also confirmed by the preamble and Article 3 TEU, which refers to EU citizenship in the context of building an area of freedom, security and justice for the citizens, rather than the internal market…”1

In addition to this, the logic inherent to the integration process and the nature of European Union’s powers do play a role2. The Union Citizenship is confined by the competencies of States, for instance, in matter of nationality attribution or deprivation3, and as a national competence subjected to International Law, some decisions of EU Member States may pose problems in cases where the attribution or deprivation of nationality could respond to political environment or aspirations of States and not to a real situation or nexus between the country and the individual, such as the ICJ has

highlighted e.g. in the Nottebohm case4; by the same token other Member States have chosen to leave aside minorities and not to grant them the nationality of State, even raising the question of up to what extent a State could complicate the gaining of nationality of persons pertaining to those minorities, as the doctrine has suggested concerning the status of the Russians in Latvia5.

Moreover, “at the Tampere European Council on 15-16 October 1999, the EU countries have stressed the need to ensure fair treatment of third country nationals residing legally in the EU. In particular, all third-country nationals permanently resident in an EU country should be granted a set of uniform rights as close as possible to those enjoyed by citizens of the European Union (paragraph 21 of the Tampere conclusions)6“. These kinds of considerations have resulted in the Directive 2003/109 / EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, which creates a situation for these long-term residents in which they enjoy a series of rights common to those of citizens on the exclusive basis of residence, which to some extent could be even as hard as gaining nationality on account of naturalization. This coincidence of rights seems to blur the differences between citizens and long-term residents in a way that demands further comparison and explanation.

Download the full paper: De Pietri-Rodriguez-Magdaleno-Paper(Zagreb)-def


European Citizenship: The tensions between a volatile demos and its political frames of reference

Author: Emanuel Richter, Department of Political Science, Aachen University, Germany



Like all political concepts, “citizenship” too must be regarded as a key term that shows changing and arbitrary meanings. The common understanding that citizenship signifies the status of a legal membership of a certain constitutional political entity no longer holds. Several social, cultural, political, and economic changes and transformations in the Western hemisphere and specifically in Europe have to be taken into consideration: international movements of persons, workplaces, and capital, the individualization of life goals and lifestyles, the delimitation of national coherence through inter-, trans- and supranational institutions, the enhancement of traditional modes of government by elements of governance that includes new forms, new topics, and new actors, and also the crisis of representative mechanisms that leads to a more spontaneous and volatile political involvement of citizens.

Under these conditions, some political key concepts have to be reconsidered: politics, integration, democracy, participation, and of course citizenship. The importance of the state and of the national constitutional order as reference points for the definition of citizens’ roles declines, more general functions of political actors and of their collective roles and performances step forth. Citizenship under the conditions of contemporary, multilevel interaction and organization can no longer be restricted to the formal membership to a constitutional political entity like the nation-state. It has to be regarded in its primordial dynamics that only eventually lead to traditional forms of coherence like the formal membership to a certain nation-state. More generally, citizenship has to be deduced as the creation of a status of adherence to a certain collective body (a “demos”), as a sense and as an incarnation of togetherness which gives every member weight and voice in the respective community (Tully 2009: 50). “Personhood” elements of citizenship outweigh conventional “peoplehood” elements. Those collective dynamics encompass a certain understanding of democracy, and they are not necessarily bound to conventional political entities or procedures.


Download the full paper: Emanuel Richter

State Scope of Deference and Diversity on Universal Human Rights Protection in Europe

Author: Ander Errasti Lopez, Universitat Pompeu Fabra



The particularistic-universalist controversy regarding Human Rights’ Protection in

Europe illustrates several assumptions on sovereignty, nation-state’s legitimacy

and democracy that need to be reviewed. In an increasingly interdependent world,

Human Rights play a key role for supranational political integration processes. The

European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and its Court (ECtHR) are a clear

example of this phenomenon, as they put together a variety of state actors

representing diverse cultural backgrounds (national, religious, historical, etc.).

However, even though Human Rights aspire to be universal per definition, their

application is de facto subjected to diverse interpretations. This paradox generates

permanent conflicts between states – allegedly in charge of securing cultural

specificities – and those supranational institutions responsible of protecting Human


This paradox also reveals that although the subjects of the Human Rights are the

individual citizens, their protection needs to be institutionally channeled. The

paper departs from a Constitutional Pluralist scope and, therefore, considers that

there is a plurality of institutions in charge protecting Human Rights. In the current

European realm individuals, qua citizens, are entailed to diverse legal frameworks:

i.e., local, regional, state or supra-state levels. How those levels interact and,

ultimately, which institutions might decide on which cases is an issue that should

be clarified. European citizens tend to disregard European institutions and,

therefore, European citizenship as if it was something opposed to their national

citizenship. The particular case of the Human Rights Protection, considering the

European Union’s forthcoming access to the ECHR, turns out to be paradigmatic

from that view. Nevertheless, it shows how citizenship cannot be equated with

nationality anymore, as Human Rights Protection happens in a wider frame than

the domestic realm.

Through the analysis of the ECtHR’s decision on the UK’s blanket van on the

prisoner’s right to vote (PRV), the paper will check whether state’s scope of

deference mechanisms (i.e., principle of subsidiarity, margin of appreciation and

consensus rules) are actually protecting diversity or, on the contrary, state’s

institutional sovereignty as an unquestionable a priori. Section I summarizes the

current HRP system at the Council of Europe. In order to do so, it analyzes the

most relevant mechanisms applied by the ECtHR in order to ensure the signatory

states’ scope of deference: margin of appreciation, subsidiarity and dynamic

interpretation through consensus. Section II explains the controversies in the UK

referring to the PRV with regard to the Free Elections Right covered by Article 3

of the First Protocol of the ECHR. Section III addresses the main theoretical

background assumptions of those who address this tension: Cosmopolitan Supra-

Nationalists and Communitarian State-Nationalists. Section IV introduces the

Multicultural or Liberal Nationalist approach as the one that tackles better the

already mentioned conflict. The proposal will try answering the main

controversies around the PRV case.The paper will conclude that even if there are

strong moral, legal and political reasons to protect diversity in Europe through

scope of deference mechanisms – national diversity, in this particular case –, states

keep appealing to them just to protect their sovereign powers. This is to say, UK is

not protecting their citizen’s right to belong to the UK, but the unquestionable

primacy of the UK’s institutions.


Download the full paper: Contributing-Paper-Ander-Errasti-Lopez

The scale and scope of citizenship in Early Modern Europe (Deliverable 3.1)

This paper develops a simple methodology to estimate the stock of citizens and citizenship rates for over 30 European towns and cities between 1550 and 1800. We find substantial variation in individual urban citizenship rates, from less than five percent to over twenty percent, even within the borders of present-day Western European nations. Estimates of the share of households with citizens suggest that many early modern cities were relatively inclusive, when compared to the extent of the franchise in mid to late 19th century European nation states. We also find compelling evidence that population growth and urban expansion was associated with a decline in the importance of urban citizenship.

Download the full paper: D3.1 The scale and scope of citizenship in Early Modern Europe

Access to the trade: Citizens, craft guilds and social and geographical mobility in early modern Europe (Working Paper 1)

Citizenship is a socio-political instrument of inclusion – and therefore inevitably also of exclusion. It has been so ever since the invention of the concept in Antiquity. In the historical literature it is often argued that the exclusion element was for a long time predominant, and only became replaced by ‘inclusion’ after the French Revolution and the rise of parliamentary democracy. In the pre-modern world exclusion mechanisms were indeed an important aspect of the rules for the acquisition of citizenship status, and in particular for guild membership and the monopoly rights that their regulations asserted. Guilds, especially, have been portrayed as providing unfair advantages to established masters and their descendants, over immigrants and other outsiders. This potentially had serious economic consequences. Privileged access to certain professions and industries is seen as a disincentive for technological progress. On the basis of this critique, we might assume that the sons of locally established citizens and masters dominated the citizenry of towns and the membership of the average craft guild. In this paper the results of detailed local investigations of the composition of citizenries and guild apprentices and masters are brought together, to find out to what extent this picture is historically correct. We argue that this data offers an indirect measurement of the accessibility of citizenship and guilds that allows insight into the mechanisms of exclusion and their impact. The paper finds that sons of established masters did dominate in some places and trades, but in many others they did not, and that, by implication, our understanding of urban and guild ‘monopolies’, and the measure of protection and reward they supplied to established citizens, is in need of serious revision. This in turn implies that the historical narrative of European citizenship creating an ever greater inclusiveness, is perhaps also in need of revision.

Workpackage 3 explores the historical dimensions of citizenship in Europe from the seventeenth century onwards. It aims to provide a long-term perspective on the issues facing modern policy makers in relation to citizenship in the multi-national environment of the EU. An important element of this is comparing various citizenship regimes and connecting their characteristics to economic performance and overall wellbeing. This working paper is intended to provide the basis for one element of this comparison.

Download the full paper: bEUcitizen_WPS1_Prak et al. (2014)