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Citizenship and Solidarity in the European Union

From the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis, the State of the Art

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Edited By Alessandra Silveira, Mariana Canotilho and Pedro Madeira Froufe

This book attempts to address an important question: where is the European project going?
As Europe struggles with the most profound economic and social crises in recent history, what happens to the promises of freedom, democracy, equality and respect for the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person proclaimed in the Preamble of the Treaty on European Union? How does the European Union intend to demonstrate its commitment to fundamental social rights at a time of widespread deregulation and an increasingly precarious labour market? How can we further enhance the democratic and efficient functioning of European institutions when there is a growing distance between citizens and political elites?
This publication is based on papers given at the international conference «Citizenship and Solidarity in the European Union – from the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis: The State of the Art», which took place in the School of Law at the University of Minho, Portugal, in May 2012. The line-up of contributors includes scholars from southern and northern Europe and Brazil, and together the papers constitute a lively and productive debate about the future of Europe.
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The Multilevel Context of Union Citizenship. The Right to Consular Protection as a Case in Point Title (Eva-Maria Poptcheva)

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Eva-Maria POPTCHEVA

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

When it is obvious that States can no longer act alone on the international stage and that the legal relations between the international, European and national levels coincide and interweave, legal science must respond by using interpretative concepts and methods which allow us to provide analytical solutions to legal voids and antinomies, in other words, which help us understanding the legal framework within which both, administrations and citizens, act in today’s complex societies.1 The interaction of different legal orders within the legal framework of one and the same subject matter poses nowadays in the European Union the greatest challenge before legal certainty in theoretical but also in practical terms for the different actors engaged in the interpretation or enforcement of legal positions. In this context, the notion “multilevel” describes best, as an interconnecting model, the interaction of different legal orders coexisting within the same political space.

This paper focuses on the interaction of different legal orders within the legal framework of the citizenship of the European Union using the example of the right to consular protection of Union citizens in a situation of distress in a third country outside the European Union where the Member State of nationality of the citizen concerned has no accessible representation.

← 253 | 254 → The first part of the paper will be dedicated to what the author understands is the multilevel context of Union citizenship as a methodology to be applied...

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