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Multilevel Citizenship

The Right to Consular Protection of EU Citizens Abroad

Eva-Maria Poptcheva

This book is the first monograph on one of the least studied and most controversial European Union citizenship rights. Despite the importance of consular protection in a globalised world, many EU Member States are reluctant to recognise consular protection for EU citizens abroad as a right, leading to a protracted struggle to place the right to consular protection on a solid legal basis through a directive.
This book examines the right to consular protection as an illustrative case in the debate over a multilevel design of EU citizenship combining rules from several different legal systems, whose interplay is reinforced by the extra-territorial character of consular protection.
It offers a comparative analysis of the provision of consular protection in the 28 EU Member States as well as of the respective international law and EU rules. By examining the right to consular protection in its constitutional setting as a right flowing from EU citizenship, the book frames the analysis of all EU citizenship rights as fundamental rights in a multilevel-governance context.
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Chapter I: Complexity vs. Relevance of Consular Protection

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CHAPTER I

Complexity vs. Relevance of Consular Protection

Union citizenship has evolved – since its entrenchment first in the Treaty establishing the European Community by the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht, and, with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, also in the Treaty on European Union (TEU)1 – into the motor for a new stage and a new type of European integration creating an “ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”.2 European integration ushered in this new age by creating a direct link between the citizens of the Member States and the European Union, with the aim of fostering a sense of identity with the Union by strengthening the protection of the rights and interests of the nationals of its Member States.3 This direct political link between Union and Member States’ nationals was established through the introduction of a citizenship of the Union.4 The rights deriving from Union citizenship are in effect granted constitutional status by being enshrined in the Treaties themselves and became together with the central political status of the citizens the source of democratic legitimacy of the Union.5 This new approach in ← 17 | 18 → the European integration process prompted many scholars to proclaim the rise of a new “Union of Rights” replacing the former Union based mainly on the Common Market rules.6

Union citizenship describes the relationship between the nationals of the EU Member States and the European Union, which, like national citizenship, is...

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