Contradictions and Constraints
Edited by Sandra Seubert, Oliver Eberl and Frans van Waarden
Chapter 3: EU citizens’ duties: preventing barriers to the exercise of citizens’ rights
Chapter 3 elaborates a conceptual structure for an inquiry into the question of balance between rights and duties related to EU citizenship. It starts from the observation that, for some time, the absence of EU citizens’ duties was interpreted as marking the immaturity of EU citizenship and a major difference from the citizenship of a state. The chapter continues by linking this evaluation first, to more general debates which express dissatisfaction with the current ‘culture of rights’ and, second, to the critique about a lack of conceptual clarity when citizens’ duties are invoked in the context of debates on EU citizenship. The question of what their justification can possibly be relates to ongoing debates on the EU’s very legitimacy, where the liberal focus on rights is often criticised at the expense of communitarian or republican values focusing on collectivity rather than individuality.
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