Reconsidering EU Citizenship
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Reconsidering EU Citizenship

Contradictions and Constraints

Edited by Sandra Seubert, Oliver Eberl and Frans van Waarden

25 years after the introduction of EU citizenship this book reconsiders its contradictions and constraints as well as promises and prospects. Analyzing a disputed concept and evaluating its implementation and social effects Reconsidering EU Citizenship contributes to the lively debate on European and transnational citizenship. It offers new insights for the ongoing theoretical debates on the future of EU citizenship – a future that will be determined by the transformative path the EU is going to take vis à vis the centrifugal forces of the current economic and political crisis.
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Chapter 3: EU citizens’ duties: preventing barriers to the exercise of citizens’ rights

Jan Komárek

Abstract

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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