23 May 2012

EU Citizenship

'The Present and the Future of EU Citizenship: A Bird’s Eye View of the Legal Debate' by Dimitry Kochenov scrutinises -
 the last ten years of the academic debate on EU citizenship law taking nine fundamental disagreements among scholars as staring points. It explores EU citizenship’s relationship with three groups of issues of fundamental importance, including the place of this concept within the fabric of EU law, the influence of this concept on the essence of the Union as a system of multilevel governance, and its impact on the lives of ordinary Europeans. A number of key works which influenced the Court and the legislator in the recent years is assessed to outline the likely direction of future research, as well as future EU citizenship’s development. Although the literature on the subject is overwhelmingly rich and diverse, this article aspires to provide a representative sample of issues of interest for the framing of the concept at issue from a supranational perspective, necessarily leaving national (or nationalistic) literatures aside.
In the Conclusion to a rich 68 page resource Kochenov comments that -
Agreeing with Williams, "the ECJ’s future challenges are both administrative and philosophical in nature". The same applies to legal scholarship. While philosophical challenges present a truly fundamental challenge, the majority of the literature, strangely, focuses on the administrative ones. To realize EU citizenship’s full potential this will have to change. As this overview has demonstrated, plenty of scholars are engaged with EU citizenship, yet, the most important problems underlying its essence are only tackled by very few commentators, led by Gareth Davies, Dora Kostakopoulou, Andrew Williams and Joseph Weiler. The constructive potential of EU citizenship is unlikely to be fully realized without a shift in the register of scholarly engagement with this important area of law. To be successful in shaping the Union in the years to come such commentary will have to be less ideological and less distracted by day-to-day events. Lastly, drawing inspiration only from the negative features of EU citizenship, opposing it to a State is potentially dangerous – a more balanced account of the concept has to be created.