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Trudie Knijn, Marcel Hoogenboom, Sandra Seubert and Sybe de Vries

In the past few decades we have observed soaring anti-Europeanism in many EU Member States under conditions of expanding European citizenship rights in almost all domains of life: economy, social protection, law, democracy and family. This paradox – if not contradiction – is what the FP7 research programme bEUcitizen has struggled with, tried to unravel and now has to address. Are we dealing with a paradox, that is, seeming though not real contradictive tendencies, or do we face fundamental and unsolvable contradictions between the EU on the one hand, and citizens and constitutions of EU Member States on the other hand, or – and even more complicated – does the concept of (EU) citizenship itself contain contradictions? In its call for reflecting on barriers towards EU citizenship that has founded this programme the wording has been proactive: ‘The concept of European Union citizenship lies at the heart of the EU’s unique polity. The challenges that the EU faces in making EU citizens more aware of their rights and obligations and in seeking to overcome the persistent shortcomings related to the exercise of EU citizens’ rights and obligations’. Now, after four years of research with the involvement of academic experts in law, economics, social science, philosophy and history from 19 countries and 26 universities, the balance is made up and the main conclusions have to be drawn.

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Chiara Amalfitano

Chapter 1 examines the current system of fundamental rights protection in the European Union in light of Article 6 TEU, as reformed by the Lisbon Treaty. It analyses the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the general principles of EU law concerning fundamental rights, as well as the legal basis for the Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In particular, it investigates the assessment methods and elaboration techniques used by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to affirm the existence of general principles on the protection of fundamental rights and tackles the legal and political impasse following Opinion 2/13. Based on the premise that accession is not indispensable, it examines a few alternatives to accession capable of improving the dialogue between the ECJ and the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR), thus securing that, even if accession does not occur, the EU and ECHR systems will continue to coexist virtuously. Keywords: Article 6 TEU; Fundamental Rights Protection in the EU; General Principles on the Protection of Fundamental Rights; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; European Convention on Human Rights

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Theocharis Grigoriadis

There are strong linkages between religion, bureaucratic organization, citizen preferences, and political regimes. The views of Lipset and Rokkan, Marx, Lukacs, Marcuse, Adorno, Weber, and Durkheim are discussed. The choice of these thinkers relates to the three grand themes that are discussed in the book: (1) The linkage between religion and political regimes in terms of social welfare expectations by the electorate, surveillance incentives, and collectivist distribution by bureaucrats; (2) The religious traditions that shape the administrative structures of local or regional communities; and (3) The different levels of policy discretion, administrative monitoring, and centralization that correspond to different sets of religious norms adopted by citizens and bureaucrats. The critique of conventional social theory treats religion in its key dimensions: as state structure, party cleavage, and social welfare.

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Sybe de Vries and Elisabetta Pulice

Economic rights have constituted an indispensable aspect of EU citizenship. They have always been stressed by the European Union and more recently incorporated in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Despite the fact that within the context of the European Union economic rights are ‘old’ rights and have a relatively strong position compared to other EU citizenship rights, there are legal and other, administrative and linguistic, obstacles that make the exercising of these rights sometimes difficult or even impossible. These obstacles develop against the background of a complicated system of multilevel governance between the EU and its Member States where different categories of citizens (gender, age, insiders and outsiders) and an increasing number of rights rival with each other. The question is: what is the impact of the multilevel context of the European Union on hindrances to the exercising of economic rights?

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Chiara Amalfitano

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Wieger Bakker and Marlot van der Kolk

This chapter deals with the future of EU citizenship, which is uncertain. There is neither a blueprint nor a strategic plan for fostering the further development of EU citizenship and for breaking down the barriers to the exercising of citizenship rights. At the same time, policy makers and decision makers are not left empty handed. Analysing different imaginable scenarios on the future of the EU and on EU citizenship broadens perspectives on which actors could use which repertoires of action that may protect, foster or stimulate the development of EU citizenship. In this chapter four imaginable future scenarios are presented. These scenarios reflect the uncertainties of whether Europe and the EU will develop in one or another direction. It addresses core questions on what will happen with EU citizenship in these alternative conceivable futures, the room for manoeuvre, and the actors who can or should cope with it.

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Trudie Knijn and Manuela Naldini

This chapter analyses why the EU has only partially succeeded in realising gender equality in its Member States and has failed in offering a better future for its coming generations. The EU has regulated work-related policies and, relatedly, those aspects of family policies that contribute to economic growth, a mobile and knowledge-based labour market. In that process, other family-related issues get less priority, with negative consequences for gender and intergenerational relations. It concludes that a double ‘domestification’ – national and in the private home – of gender and intergenerational citizenship rights results from dissimilar family laws and family policies in the Member States which are mostly beyond the scope of the EU. The chapter is based on a study of six European countries and focuses on the various legal definitions of the family in Member States and the European care gap dilemma. It also presents results of a study among young Europeans on their expectations regarding the intra-EU mobility and/or harmonisation of these rights at EU level. Finally, the approach to gender equality, intergenerational solidarity and family life of anti-European radical right-wing political parties that proclaim re-nationalisation of citizenship rights is presented.

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Chiara Amalfitano

This insightful book analyses the role that EU general principles have taken in the protection of fundamental rights within the EU since the Lisbon Treaty. In particular, the author focuses on the relationship between written law (the Charter of Fundamental Rights) and unwritten law (the general principles) within the institutional framework of the EU. The book demonstrates that due to their complementary and autonomous function toward the protection of fundamental rights, the general principles still play a key role within the Union despite the binding force of the Charter.
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Bridget Anderson, Vedrana Baričević, Isabel Shutes and Sarah Walker

This chapter addresses the shifting boundaries and barriers between Insiders and Outsiders and the consequences for citizenship. It examines the possibilities for escaping from a logic that presents Insiders (citizens) and Outsiders (migrants) as competitors for the privileges of membership in the state of residence. EU citizen status is taken as a lens, which reveals shared practical interests and offers new conceptual insights. The chapter outlines how citizenship, and relatedly the foreigner/migrant, is understood, its relationship to deservingness, and the community of value. It examines naturalisation – how migrants are made into citizens – as exemplifying the normative ways in which the boundary between the Insider and the Outsider is porous and can also be ethnic. Citizenship has an instrumental and normative value, highlighted by EU citizenship exposing the ways in which national EU citizens are an important form of social capital. Attempts to harden Insider/Outsider boundaries are discussed, such as investor citizenship programmes and membership of a diaspora. The chapter also examines the ways in which Insiders can become Outsiders, considering the valuing of the worker-citizen that creates boundaries within the legal citizenship status, and suggests that what is bad for non-citizens/migrants is not necessarily good for citizens.

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Chiara Amalfitano