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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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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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EU Citizenship. New Questions in Need of an Answer (Dimitry Kochenov)

← 382 | 383 →EU Citizenship

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Dimitry KOCHENOV*

University of Groningen

The recent EU citizenship case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) poses a number of questions of vital importance for the future of European integration and the essence of EU federalism. This chapter, rather than trying to answer the questions concerned, aims at outlining them with clarity, sketching the main lines of legal research and contestation in courts for the years to come. The fundamental nature of the questions concerned is such that they will not be resolved overnight and will take years of scholarly debate and court decisions. This chapter is premised on the belief that posing these questions is a fundamentally important first step towards starting a serious discussion of the issues they touch upon.1

← 383 | 384 → The recent cases, including Rottmann,2 Ruiz Zambrano,3 McCarthy,4 and Dereci5 are overwhelmingly innovative and promising, yet they stop short of being truly convincing because of what the Court seems to be hinting at but does not say. EU citizenship acquires powerful potential to shape the material scope of EU law and protect the rights of those in possession of this status in the situations unrelated to any additional considerations besides being an EU citizen, such as the existence, actual or potential, of a cross border situation.6 Given the contradictory vectors of EU citizenship development decipherable in the recent case law, it is suggested that the ECJ is now at the cross-roads where...

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