To provide a glimpse of the contemporary state of play in citizenship’s interaction with social solidarity in Europe, this chapter – following a brief introduction to citizenship’s arbitrary and exclusionary nature and the general dynamics in the development of the notion over the last decades – explores three problematic assumptions behind the popular approaches to the interaction between citizenship and social solidarity. The three points it makes are simple. (1) Citizenship is not necessarily directly connected to social solidarity and social rights. (2) The state is not a necessary arena of social solidarity. (3) Social rights do not require an elusive demos or national unity as a necessary precondition. The EU’s contribution to the complex picture of the framing of social solidarity in Europe is touched upon throughout this contribution. The conclusion is that the relationship between social solidarity and citizenship in the EU follows the global trend in full, rather than breaking it.
Dimitry Kochenov and Justin Lindeboom
EU citizenship is derived from the nationalities of the Member States and thus seemingly obeys international law’s ‘anything goes’ pluralism: who is a citizen is for the states to decide. In practice, EU citizenship has effectively destroyed the ties between citizenship and state territory, offering virtually unlimited access to rights far beyond the conferring state’s territory. Since none of the Member States will be willing to give up the claim of sovereignty in nationality matters, holding on to the ‘full sovereignty in citizenship matters’ mantra, access to EU citizenship is paradoxically bound to be pluralist in nature precisely for the most antipluralist reasons. Thus, as part of a perpetual ‘clash of legal orders’, EU citizenship is a crucial federal denominator, shaping the ever-fluid vertical boundaries of competence.