Lynn Dobson
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Citizenship of the European Union
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This chapter gives an analytic account of the legal development of EU citizenship from the 1970s onwards and its formal incorporation as a status, with attached ‘citizens’ rights’, in the Maastricht Treaty (TEU, 1992), and provides a selective critical review of the theoretical debates its codification provoked. The principal problem is to provide a coherent account of citizenship in which EU identity can co-exist alongside, rather than supplanting, national identity, and in which EU citizens can own their common political output while maintaining the conditions of pluralism and diversity. The book’s approach to these debates in relation to those of other commentators including Bellamy and Castiglione, Habermas, Kostakopolou, Shaw, and Wiener is outlined. The chapter indicates we need to move the idea of citizenship away from both belonging and privilege and toward the political capacity to define and reformulate the capacity of lives lived, in a community of agents: citizenship is about political organisation rather than social organisation, about agency rather than identity or club goods. Given that, the important issues for the EU are whether its institutional arrangements support citizenship as political agency, and whether underlying social contexts can support the exercise of such a citizenship.

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