The citizenship of the european union


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The citizenship of the european union

  2. 2. The citizenship of the European Union Citizenship of the European Union was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty, which was signed in 1992, and has been in force since 1993. European citizenship is supplementary to national citizenship and affords rights such as the right to vote in European elections, the right to free movement, settlement and employment across the EU, and the right to consular protection from other EU states embassies when a persons country of citizenship does not maintain an embassy or consulate in the country they need protection in.
  3. 3. The citizenship of the European Union Stated rights Historically, the main benefits of being a citizen of an EU state has been that of free movement. The free movement also applies to the citizens of EFTA member states. However with the creation of EU citizenship, certain political rights came into being. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for citizens to be "directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament", and "to participate in the democratic life of the Union" (Treaty on the European Union, Title II, Article 10). Specifically, the following rights are afforded;
  4. 4. The citizenship of the European Union Political rights Voting in European elections: a right to vote and stand in elections to the European Parliament, in any EU member state (Article 22) Voting in municipal elections: a right to vote and stand in local elections in an EU state other than their own, under the same conditions as the nationals of that state (Article 22) Accessing European government documents: a right to access to European Parliament, Council, and Commission documents (Article 15). Petitioning Parliament and the Ombudsman: the right to petition the European Parliament and the right to apply to the European Ombudsman in order to bring to his attention any cases of poor administration by the EU institutions and bodies, with the exception of the legal bodies (Article 24) Linguistic rights: the right to apply to the EU institutions in one of the official languages and to receive a reply in that same language (Article 24).
  5. 5. The citizenship of the European Union
  6. 6. The citizenship of the European Union Rights of free movement Right to free movement and residence: a right of free movement and residence throughout the Union and the right to work in any position (including national civil services with the exception of those posts in the public sector that involve the exercise of powers conferred by public law and the safeguard of general interests of the State or local authorities (Article 21) for which however there is no one single definition); Freedom from discrimination on nationality: a right not to be discriminated against on grounds of nationality within the scope of application of the Treaty (Article 18);
  7. 7. The citizenship of the European Union Rights abroad Right to consular protection: a right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of other Member States when in a non-EU Member State, if there are no diplomatic or consular authorities from the citizens own state (Article 23): this is due to the fact that not all member states maintain embassies in every country in the world (16 countries have only one embassy from an EU state).
  8. 8. The citizenship of the European Union Free movement rights Article 21 Freedom to move and reside Article 21 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that Every citizen of the Union shall have the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in this Treaty and by the measures adopted to give it effect. The European Court of Justice has remarked that,
  9. 9. The citizenship of the European Union The European Court of Justice has remarked that, EU Citizenship is destined to be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States The ECJ has held that this Article confers a directly effective right upon citizens to reside in another Member State. Before the case of Baumbast, it was widely assumed that non-economically active citizens had no rights to residence deriving directly from the EU Treaty, only from directives created under the Treaty. In Baumbast, however, the ECJ held that (the then) Article 18 of the EC Treaty granted a generally applicable right to residency, which is limited by secondary legislation, but only where that secondary legislation is proportionate. Member States can distinguish between nationals and Union citizens but only if the provisions satisfy the test of proportionality. Migrant EU citizens have a "legitimate expectation of a limited degree of financial solidarity... having regard to their degree of integration into the host society" Length of time is a particularly important factor when considering the degree of integration. The ECJs case law on citizenship has been criticised for subjecting an increasing number of national rules to the proportionality assessment.
  10. 10. The citizenship of the European Union Article 45 Freedom of movement to work Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that 1. Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Union. 2. Such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of the Member States as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment. State employment reserved exclusively for nationals varies between member states. For example, training as a barrister in Britain and Ireland is not reserved for nationals, while the corresponding French course qualifies one as a juge and hence can only be taken by French citizens. However, it is broadly limited to those roles that exercise a significant degree of public authority, such as judges, police, the military, diplomats, senior civil servants or politicians. Note that not all Member States choose to restrict all of these posts to nationals. Much of the existing secondary legislation and case law was consolidated[11] in the Citizens Rights Directive 2004/38/EC on the right to move and reside freely within the EU.
  11. 11. The citizenship of the European Union Limitations New member states may undergo transitional regimes, during which their nationals only enjoy restricted access to labour markets in other member states. EU member states are permitted to keep restrictions on citizens of the newly acceded countries for a maximum of seven years after accession. For the EFTA states (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), the maximum is nine years. In the 2004 enlargement, three "old" member states—Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom—decided to allow unrestricted access to their labour markets. By December 2009, all but two member states—Austria and Germany—had completely dropped controls. These restrictions too expired on 1 May 2011. Following the 2007 enlargement, all pre-2004 member states except Finland and Sweden imposed restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, as did two member states that joined in 2004: Malta and Hungary. As of November 2012, all but 8 EU countries have dropped restrictions entirely. The last must expire on 1 January 2014. Norway opened its labour market in June 2012, while Switzerland and Lichtenstein may keep restrictions in place until 2016. It is expected that some countries will implement restrictions on Croatian nationals following the countrys EU accession on 1 July 2013. The UK Home Office has announced a bill to this effect.
  12. 12. The citizenship of the European Union
  13. 13. The citizenship of the European Union History The concept of EU citizenship as a distinct concept was first introduced by the Maastricht Treaty, and was extended by the Treaty of Amsterdam. Prior to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the European Communities treaties provided guarantees for the free movement of economically active persons, but not, generally, for others. The 1951 Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community established a right to free movement for workers in these industries and the 1957 Treaty of Rome provided for the free movement of workers and services. However, the Treaty provisions were interpreted by the European Court of Justice not as having a narrow economic purpose, but rather a wider social and economic purpose. In Levin, the Court found that the "freedom to take up employment was important, not just as a means towards the creation of a single market for the benefit of the Member State economies, but as a right for the worker to raise her or his standard of living".[18] Under the ECJ caselaw, the rights of free movement of workers applies regardless of the workers purpose in taking up employment abroad, to both part-time and full-time work, and whether or not the worker required additional financial assistance from the Member State into which he moves. Since, the ECJ has held that a recipient of service has free movement rights under the treaty and this criterion is easily fulfilled, effectively every national of an EU country within another Member State, whether economically active or not, had a right under Article 12 of the European Community Treaty to non- discrimination even prior to the Maastricht Treaty. In Martinez Sala, the European Court of Justice held that the citizenship provisions provided substantive free movement rights in addition to those already granted by Union law.
  14. 14. The citizenship of the European Union Acquisition There is no common EU policy on the acquisition of European citizenship as it is supplementary to national citizenship (one cannot be an EU citizen without being a national of a member state). Article 20 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union[2] states that Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to and not replace national citizenship. While nationals of Member States are citizens of the union, "It is for each Member State, having due regard to Union law, to lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of nationality." As a result, there is a great variety in rules and practices with regard to the acquisition and loss of citizenship in EU member states. Thus in practice, a member state may withhold EU citizenship from certain groups of citizens — namely some in overseas territories of member states outside the EU. One example would be the Faroe Islands of Denmark which, while are part of Denmark, are outside the EU and do not have EU citizenship.
  15. 15. The citizenship of the European Union