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

EU

The Czech Republic: Minority Rights since the Days of the Habsburg Empire (D4.6)

The Czech Republic embodies a remarkable exception from the set of cases dealt with in this volume. From the macroscopic point of view, the Czech Republic resembles rather homogeneous country compared to Canada or Switzerland. Nationally and ethnically rather homogenous country with considerable low level of religious alignments, low profile of ethnic-based political parties and peacefully departed from Czechoslovak federation does not look intuitively to be an appropriate object of scholar research aimed at minority claims and their political treatment.
Historical path towards the present situation, however, shows much colourful picture of a country struggling with multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, as well as multi-religious composition of the population. To simplify slightly, an observer can read the history of the second half of Czech 20th century as a history of de-complexification of Czech population. After extermination of Jewish population of Czechoslovakia, the German (and to considerable lower level Hungarian) inhabitants of Czechoslovakia were expelled, Ruthenia with Ukrainian-speaking (but with strong distinctive regional identity equipped) population was transferred to the Soviet Union and after partition of Czechoslovakia, the remaining Czech Republic left behind salient issue of Hungarian minority inhabiting Southern Slovakian regions. This short history is far from being a triumph of Czech politics of solving the ethnic and national disputes. It can rather serve as an example of how drastic measures were adopted in Europe only slightly more than half a century ago to achieve one of the ideals painted by enlightened concept of modern homogeneous nation that rules over a comprehensive territory of a nation-state.
Therefore, the important part of the study must be devoted to explanations of how the Czech lands once became multi-cultural, what problems it took along, what kind of conflict unfroze during periods of reluctant democratisation of the 19th and hasty de-democratisation of the 20th century and how the changing majority-minority configurations and clashed reached the climax in the turmoil if 1939-1945 period.
The partially coincidental, however fully accepted by political elite as well as public, strategy of violent homogenisation of the territory of the Czech Lands after the World War II did not remain without consequences for the recent politics of minority issues in the Czech Republic. By analysing the claims of politically relevant and in the same time contentious minority issues, such as situation of Czech Roma population and different strategies of its politicisation, the paper will not only show path dependency on experiences with violent unification and homogenisation of the Czech Lands but it will address important issue of how to cope with minorities, that are – for different reasons – unable to set the coherent political appeal of claims and to create sound minority. The experience with these “silent” but visible minorities with huge and risky potential of arousing political conflicts can bring some lessons for larger European Union of today.

Click here for the full text: D4.6 – Czech Republic

GENDERED AND GENERATIONAL ASPECTS OF SOCIAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CIVIL CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS – The findings of WPs ON GENDERED AND GENERATIONAL CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS (D9.3)

This report derives from the work of coordinators of Work Package 9 of the FP7 programme bEUcitizen coordinated by Utrecht University (NL) and the University of Turin (IT) and is based on the findings of four work packages focusing on the economic (WP5), social (WP6), civil (WP7) and political (WP8) citizenship rights with regards to gendered and generational biases in the access to these citizenship rights. These findings have been discussed at a panel meeting in the Oviedo work conference of the bEUcitizen consortium in June 2016. Contributions have been presented by the University of Trento (WP5; IT), the University of Oxford (WP6; UK), University of Oviedo (WP7; ES), and Utrecht University (WP8; NL). In addition, the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (WP4; ES) and Utrecht University (WP3, NL) have contributed to the panel meeting. This report presents the findings of these WPs as well as the discussions during the meeting. It first presents the questions the WP9 coordinators have raised regarding gendered and generational biases in the access to the four citizenship rights to each of the representatives of WP5 to 8. Second, it summarizes the reactions to these questions. Third, the discussion at the panel meeting is presented and finally some conclusions are drawn.

Click here for the full text: Deliverable 9.3

NEW BOUNDARIS, NEW POSSIBILITIES – Minorities and Citizenship in Estonia (D4.5)

The Estonian government has taken many steps in order to integrate minorities into Estonian society. Although some international organisations’ reports indicate to obstacles in equal treatment, still the integration policy during the last twenty years can be described as successful. The latest integration policy paper until 2020 has shown the Estonia is still paying greater attention to the integration policy and cohesion between Estonian and non-Estonian people.
Estonian Government has during the decades adopted different programmes in order to develop the integration policy. The main concern is connected with Russian minorities. Although there has been some criticism, still those programmes can be evaluated as successful.
The realisation of civil and political rights is sometimes connected with ability to communicate in Estonian. The language requirements seems to be one of the most crucial issue. Although the Estonian government is seeking for opportunities to offer language courses for minorities, it seems to be, that in some regions (e.g. eastern part of Estonia) still the Russian language prevails. Still the necessary information for exercising of the political rights are also provided in Russian.
In realisation of economic, social and cultural rights the possible benefits are not connected to citizenship, but to a right to stay in Estonia (permanent or fixed term). Accessing the labour market again the problem of language has been raised. Although there is no case law, still one can observe, that the knowledge of Estonian language gives to a certain extent a better position.

For the full text click here: Deliverable 4.5 Estonia – FINAL

Towards Impact Assessment indicators for EU citizenship (D11.2)

Tools and frameworks for executing impact assessments are useful to provide policy and decision makers with knowledge and guidance. This might help in identifying possible barriers – but also opportunities – for exercising European Union citizenship. Impact assessment is the systematic ex-ante evaluation of the likely or possible consequences of policies, project, programs and other forms of regulation. The existing Impact Assessment guideline in ‘Better Regulation guidelines’ (European Commission, 2015) focus on economic, social and environmental impacts. EU citizenship impacts need to be added to this list to overcome barriers for EU citizenship.
Therefore, in the working paper (D11.1) ‘Assessing policy implications for EU citizenship’ (Bakker et al., 2016) options for an impact assessment framework for EU citizenship are explored. In the paper favorable impact assessment approaches are identified even as elements that should be included in the framework and what requirements the framework should meet. However, before to establish an impact assessment framework for EU citizenship, it is necessary to develop indicators to assess EU citizenship. These indicators need to be formulated based on existing (impact assessment) guidelines and documents and based on outcomes of the bEUcitizen project so far. Therefore, we analysed all the deliverables of the bEUcitizen project so far to determine whether attention needs to be paid to specific topics in an impact assessment framework for EU citizenship. Annex I shows an overview of the analyzed deliverables and their topics. In this report, we sketch an overview of the most remarkable topics from the deliverables. This leads towards impact assessment indicators for EU citizenship, which will be the starting point for the Impact Assessment tool for policymakers on the European and the national level (deliverable 11.3).

For the full text click here: D11.2 – Impact Assessment

Impact assessment tools for policy makers on the European and the national level (D11.3)

Since the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), every person holding the nationality of a European Union (EU) Member State is automatically a citizen of the EU and is granted an additional set of rights. In 2007, the Lisbon Treaty strengthened EU citizenship by making the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding and by expanding the opportunities for democratic participation and increasing the visibility of EU citizen rights. Citizens are and must be at the heart of European integration. Therefore, it is important to make citizens’ lives easier, to help them understand their rights and involve them in a debate on the Europe they want to live in and build for future generations (European Commission, 2013, p.3). At the same time, the European Commission has noted in its 2010 EU citizenship report and in its 2013 EU citizenship report that citizens face difficulties in exercising their rights and are not always aware of the rights they legally possess (European Commission, 2010; European Commission, 2013).
To overcome possible barriers and stimulate opportunities for exercising EU citizenship an impact assessment for new policies and regulations might be useful. However, existing Commissions impact assessment guidelines do not focus on EU citizenship impacts. The focus is on economic, social and environmental impacts. Therefore, it is necessary to include EU citizenship. Bakker et al. (2016, p.12) note: “An impact assessment guideline where EU citizenship is included will make decision makers aware of risks for new barriers for citizens when exercising their citizenship rights and, in an ideal world, make them aware of what policies and regulations offer increased opportunities for exercising these rights. In the long term, this leads to a European administrative reality in which it is more easy and common for individual citizens to exercise their EU citizen rights”.
To develop an impact assessment framework that focuses on EU citizenship too, different steps are taken within the bEUcitizen project. First, in the working paper (D11.1) ‘Assessing policy implications for EU citizenship’ (Bakker et al., 2016) options for an impact assessment framework for EU citizenship are explored. Favorable impact assessment approaches are identified even as the elements that should be included in the framework and what requirements the framework should meet. Second, in (D11.2) ‘Towards Impact Assessment indicators for EU citizenship’ (Bakker and Van der Kolk, 2016) eight indicators to assess EU citizenship are developed based on outcomes of the bEUcitizen project so far and existing impact assessment guidelines and documents. The insights from these papers have been a starting point for this report.
In this report, we aim to include EU citizenship impacts in an impact assessment tool. When we include EU citizenship impacts, Bakker et al. (2016) argued it is necessary to include two specific elements into the impact assessment framework: (1) to assess EU citizenship impacts attention is needed for both EU citizenship rights and participation in the EU (political) community (the so called technical-rational and post-positive perspectives) , and (2) attention need to be paid to the EU and national level and the interface between the impact assessments on both levels. We explain these two elements further in chapter 2. In chapter 3 a practical ‘rules of thumb’ guide for carrying out an  impact assessment is presented. In seven practical steps we explain how to carry out an impact assessment for EU citizenship. To make these steps transparent and workable we present tools for policymakers. These tools, presented as infographics, can be used by policymakers to see in a glance which steps to take in an impact assessment and where to think about when assessing for instance social and EU citizenship impacts. This will help to make the execution of impact assessments more workable and useable for policy makers on the European and the national level, especially with regard to EU citizenship. Furthermore, we do a proposal for revising existing impact assessment documents of the Commission. In chapter 4 we will explain this briefly. In annex I we present an extended version of the Guidance on social rights, now including EU citizenship, and annex II suggests a revision of the existing Impact Assessment Guideline. The report ends with a final note on how these proposals fit into the existing EU strategies.

Read the full report here: D11.3-impact assessment tools

The quest for a European civic culture – The EU and EU Citizenship in policies and practices of citizenship education in seven EU member states (D8.10)

Since the Treaty of Maastricht (1992) all nationals of EU member states hold EU citizenship too. EU citizens hold EU citizenship rights in addition to their national rights. These rights include civil, social, economic and political rights. Holding these rights does not guarantee actual participation: there are, for instance, increasingly concerns about (too) low voter turnout and a (too) low number of citizens participating in other activities related to political decision making. Therefore, there seems to be a quest for a European civic culture. Citizenship education, and more specifically European citizenship education, is seen as an important instrument to stimulate the development of a European civic culture.
This study shows that (governmental) policies and practices of citizenship education differ widely between the seven examined countries (the Netherlands, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Hungary). Citizenship education practices are, for instance, deeply related to the type of the democratic development, type of the democratic regime and social issues within the polity. Furthermore, the education practices show great variety of available teaching modules both in formal and informal way. There also seems to be a certain paradox between acknowledging the importance that civic education has for society, and political readiness to acknowledge that specific training is needed for teachers to be eligible to qualitatively educate and prepare students for their roles as active citizens.
However, all countries share a very similar approach regarding to the European dimension of citizenship: it is a highly neglected area within the national curriculum. The focus is dominantly on the factual and theoretical knowledge on the EU and especially its institutions rather than the promotion of values and the training of skills needed to exercise EU citizenship rights and needed for development of active, participating EU citizens. Hence, European citizenship education within the member states seems to be in its infancy. To develop a European civic culture, socialization and developing civic competencies are important. Therefore, it is important to strengthen and further develop European citizenship education. European citizenship teaching packages may help policymakers and teachers at the national level with these developments.
Moreover, considering the existing underdeveloped conceptualization and focus on EU dimension of citizenship in all studied cases, the introduction of (more) EU citizenship education has to be aware of at least two challenges. The first one stems from the generally dominant notion of elitist type of democracy of EU level, which is perceived to be dominated by the bureaucracy and disconnected to daily needs and practices of EU citizens. The role of EU citizenship education has to raise awareness on existence of interdependence of the decisions made on the EU level to the political consequences for national policies a practices of citizenship. The full emancipation of citizens can hardly be established even at the national level, if they are excluded from active participation at the decision making processes on the supranational level. The second challenge relates to the identity dimension of EU citizenship. There can hardly be EU without some sort of shared solidarity among its citizens. Citizenship education may not be a sufficient tool for achieving this goal, but it certainly is one of the most appropriate ones’ on the disposition of the member states.

For the full text click here: D8.10 final version

CASE STUDY (II) ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MEDIA

The objective of WP7 is to study, from the perspective of EU citizenship, specific problems EU citizens face in exercising civil rights and liberties in areas which fall within the scope of EU law, but also in areas beyond the scope of EU law. In the EU legal context, fundamental rights, including civil rights, have gained not only visibility but also, arguably, significance, now that the Lisbon Treaty has made the Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding.

Media freedom and policy in the EU in general has been widely researched and studied, focusing largely on the areas less directly relevant for citizens, i.e. television and radio broadcasting, media regulators, etc. This case study therefore focuses on tackling barriers in an area more relevant for individual citizens’ freedom of expression, referred to as citizens’ journalism. This is a new field of practice and research, where conceptual clarifications are needed and which calls for further research into the application and evolution of legal and procedural frameworks, in line with changing journalism landscape (blogs, online comments, etc).

The Council of the European Union adopted Guidelines on freedom of expression online and offline for its external policy, while it does not have such guidelines internally, for its member states. Internally, freedom of expression is not strongly under the radar. There has been a discussion whether the mutual recognition of judgments in civil and commercial matters should not apply to defamation cases, since there is so much divergence. At the end, this has not become the case, therefore the strong substantive divergences remain, and need to be mutually recognized, with all resulting problems with forum shopping, and a potential race to the bottom.

This report’s initial understanding of citizen journalist has deliberately been an uncircumscribed one, in order not to impose an arbitrary, potentially too narrow concept on the different legal orders examined in this task. Therefore, the questionnaire was drafted to screen all possible forms of citizen journalism, such as blogs, social media, comments, wiki contributions, and had asked specific questions about their status, responsibility, sanctions on their own, and in comparison to a generally perceived category of journalism if there is one in the given legal system.
Citizen journalism is generally seen to provide an important avenue for political participation, the political engagement of citizens between elections, and the reinvigoration of a sense of authenticity or belonging. In an era of mistrust in both domestic and EU
political institutions, republicanism is gaining appeal: scholarship has already recognized the need with regard to citizen journalism specifically, Ian Cram wrote a whole book on citizen journalism from the republican perspective. If there is any chance that the internet creates a truly republican “digital commons” so many hope for, it would certainly not be possible without citizen journalists. Equally, any prospect that EU citizens develop or further develop a transnational political discourse or an European public opinion or political public as Habermas would argue, presupposes citizen journalists writing on it. In this sense, citizen journalists writing on EU issues appear to be a necessary (though naturally insufficient) condition for more political, social, or in any sense thicker (post/or beyond-market) version of EU citizenship, both in practice and conceptually.

The so conceived ideal of citizen journalism would promote these more ambitious ideals of European citizenship and democracy. This is not to deny that activities looking like citizen journalism might of course harm others or might go beyond the scope of freedom of expression, and violate privacy rights or spread hate messages, and so on. There is some literature observing that citizen journalism might run the risks of bad journalism (hate speech, misinformation, etc.) to a larger extent than professional journalism. The initial understanding of this paper however was not to form any view on that. The risks generally do not seem to outweigh the massive legitimacy and other political-moral gains a more engaged transnational citizenry would bring to the European project. Furthermore, there was no indication that courts would be less willing to grant protection against violations of privacy, equality or dignity if caused by citizen journalists. This deliverable undertakes to check what the legal conditions are under which they operate, and whether there is convergence or divergence between different EU countries’ legal orders in this regard.

Download the full report here: D7.4-Freedom of expression

The barriers that professionals face in gaining access to the services market (Deliverable 5.3)

(…) The present general report has the aim of providing an overview of the national systems set up in support for the removal of the barriers that professionals face in four selected Member States with the main emphasis put on the barriers to recognition of EU Citizens’ professional qualifications, but also certain related issues such as legal, administrative, linguistic, digital and other practical barriers that professionals face in gaining access to the services markets in other Member States. It is based on a questionnaire developed for that purpose.

Five specific professions, namely practising lawyers (i.e. ‘advocates’), midwives, hairdressers, care givers/in-home nurses, and tourist guides have been selected for more detailed treatment. The criteria for their selection are tied to the objective of examining different types of regulated and non-regulated professions: respectively, a profession regulated outside of the Professional Qualifications Directive (lawyers); a regulated profession within the scope of the Directive (midwives); and three professions that are regulated differently across Member States (hairdressers, care givers, and tourist guides). Moreover, the objective is to achieve interdisciplinary cooperation with the professional categories analysed in WP9. (…)

Download the full report here: Deliverable 5.3

Citizenship and Work: Case Studies of Differential Inclusion/Exclusion (Deliverable 10.3)

In its previous research, Work Package 10 of bEUcitizen examined the rise of the worker-citizen and found that work can shape differential inclusion into the community. However, people may also be differentially included and excluded from the world of work. Deliverable D10.3 explores these processes with regard to specific groups of people or individuals that engage in specific types of labour. Five case studies of different social groups (both citizens and migrants) serve to examine the relationship between work, citizenship and inclusion/exclusion. The case studies are a mixture of a single state focus, or a comparative focus of particular groups in select countries involved in WP10: Croatia, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands and the UK.1

Deliverable D10.1 analysed the ways in which the ‘worker citizen’ underpins national and EU citizenship with respect to policies regarding entry to and residence in a nation state, naturalisation, and access to social security provisions, policies which cut across citizens and migrants. We examined how citizenship is increasingly cast as being deserved by hard-working, self-reliant individuals prepared to take responsibility for themselves and demonstrated that citizenship requires having the status of a worker (Anderson, Shutes, Walker 2015). For the purposes of this report, we refer to ‘worker’ as both a legal and social status. Under EU Law, to attain worker status, work has to be deemed to be “genuine and effective” and not on such a small scale as to be “marginal and ancillary” (See Anderson, Shutes, Walker, 2015: 52 for further discussion). Thus understanding the relation between inclusion and exclusion and the spaces in between (which we described as ‘differential inclusion) requires us to analyse how people are differentially included in labour markets and in the world of work.

Analyses of the relationship between citizenship and the labour market have tended to examine the exclusions of migrants and the exclusions of those who have the legal status of citizenship separately. For example, the literature on the impact of immigration policies on the labour market participation of migrants has tended to sit apart from the literature on the impact of welfare-to-work policies on the labour market participation of citizens. In keeping with the theme of this work package, we are interested in examining citizens and migrants together, taking as our starting point inclusion/exclusion from the labour market, rather than the migrant/citizen binary. This deliverable (D10.3) examines how the labour of different groups is differentially included – how different groups are differentially included as ‘workers’ – and discusses the implications for understanding the relationship between citizenship and work, and the barriers to citizenship, for both citizens and migrants.

We have five case studies which focus on different social groups and the ways in which they are differentially included in the labour market (in different national contexts). They comprise: (1) people with disabilities as participants in the adjusted wage programme in Israel; (2) EU migrant women in the UK; (3) refugees in Croatia and Ireland; (4) domestic workers in the Netherlands. The fifth case study, beggars/begging in the UK and Croatia, was chosen to explore exclusion from the world of work and the delineation of the boundaries of labour itself, as well as its relation to honour and to community.

 

Download the full report here: D10.3 Citizenship and Work

Report of Case Studies on Gender Equality as a Focus Point of National and Nativist Discourses (Deliverable 9.7)

The overall aim of WP9.7 is to analyse ‘cross-national case studies on gender equality as the focus of national and nativist discourses’. This deliverable is based on the national reports on the rhetoric of populist radical right parties from the seven selected countries, i.e. Croatia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Italy and Spain, together with Israel. The objective of this synthesis report is to identify similarities and divergences in framing migration, mobility, gender and family and the implications of these frames for European citizenship. Our sample of parties were selected from continental, Nordic, Central and Eastern European and Southern European member states of the EU, all experiencing different path dependencies and breaks in their socio-economic, political and cultural institutions, something which may be formative for populist radical right agendas. .

The analysis has identified different logics in the framing of gender equality in relation to migration, mobility, diversity and family issues: An economic dimension that links migration and diversity to the logic of the labour market and the welfare regime, and a cultural dimension that links gender, family and religion to national values and belongings. The economic rationale, in the sense that concerns for migration and mobility override issues related to gender equality and the family, seems to be the most prevalent one for the Northern European countries, while the cultural rationale is much more visible in the case of the other countries, South, East Central and Continental European alike.

Overall, the analysis illustrates both similarities and differences in the selected parties’ framings of migration and mobility. Many similarities exist between the Northern, Southern and Eastern European radical right parties in regards to the negative positions on migration and ethnic, religious and national minorities. Despite the similarities, the analysis also points at important variations across the geographical divide between Eastern and Western radical right parties in relation to internal mobility, primarily attached to the economic dimension. In the West, the parties perceive their citizens as “invaded” by EU-migrants, and in the East as being forced to migrate; both positions blaming the EU policies for the welfare problems, their countries experience. However, practically all parties frame migration around its financial strains on the welfare systems, the economy, and in the West also in terms of labour market integration.

Gender, family and religious issues, including women’s and gay rights, used to be a crucial part of the cultural dimension, but family issues such as the support for ‘working mothers’, have moved to the welfare dimension, as part of a Conservative agenda to secure labour power and boost the national economy. The report concludes that in spite of differences in national welfare and family models, there is a similar trend towards an instrumental use of gender and family issues as a means to secure the welfare state, or as a way to solve the problems with family crisis, demographic sustainability, and protecting the national values.

The overall conclusion of the synthesis report is that EU-citizenship is more contested than ever, and it demonstrates that the strengthening of the nativist and nationalist right-wing parties across Europe and in the EP is challenging the EUs founding principles of free mobility of labour/open borders, the principles of gender equality, as well as the guiding principles of non-discrimination of nationalities, ethnicity, sexuality and religion. Despite their differences in relation to family and gender issues, the selected radical right parties agree upon one common goal: to restrict crucial elements of EU citizenship related to internal mobility and diversity. Some parties even propose an ethnic citizenship limited to nationals born within the country, and others call for rights of ethnic Diasporas both in EU member states and beyond. Thus, all the analysed parties across the geographical divide support increased border control, although with different arguments. They thus propose different versions of Euroscepticism, which are all opposed to fundamental principles of internal mobility, and the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality.

Finally, the report confirms the importance of contextual embeddedness for the divergences between the analyzed populist radical right parties. Divergence or convergence depend on meeting points between emerging European political opportunities and national contextual factors brought to the European arena by the diverse parties. In addition it is worth noticing that major events such as the refugee crises can prompt the reorganization of agendas, marginalization of controversial points, and alignment of these parties along the same platform.

 

Download the full report here: Report 9 7 – Version 16 06 2016