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Edited by Trudie Knijn and Manuela Naldini

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Trudie Knijn and Manuela Naldini

This introductory chapter summarizes the book and puts in in the perspective of the extent to which EU citizenship is different for women and men, for the young and the old, for those who stay in their own country and for those who move within the European Union. It introduces diverse aspects of EU citizenship ranging among the political citizenship of young Europeans, the civil and social rights of migrant care workers, reproductive rights and variations in family law among member states, and EU gender politics and policies. It signals a remarkable and paradoxical tendency towards expanding the right to family life, exemplified by recognition of family diversity by the European Court for Human Rights and EU law, which have more recently substantially reduced the autonomy of national jurisdiction in not granting the right to family life to ‘other’ types of family forms, and the current process of increasing family dependency because of limited social citizenship rights for non-wage workers.

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Edited by Trudie Knijn and Manuela Naldini

Family law, gender equality, care arrangements and the consequences of demographic change have long been on the agenda of the European Union. However, these are coloured by national and cultural factors more than any other disputes, and form a barrier to the equalising of status for European citizens. Using an interdisciplinary approach, and bringing together law scholars, political scientists and sociologists, this book looks at the implications of the categorisation of identity in the European Union, and what they mean for the realisation of citizens’ rights throughout the EU.
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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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Joëlle Long, Manuela Naldini and Arianna Santero

This chapter focuses on the main social and legal barriers faced by parents, when living, moving or travelling within the European Union. Six European countries considered to be representative of different family law and social policy models are analysed and compared with a non-EU country (Israel). Even though some convergences appear among countries in the progressive legal recognition of different family forms and in the support of work–family balance, the cross-national differences are still significant in both family policies and family law. More traditional countries, such as Croatia and Italy exhibit low family policy support coupled with ‘prohibitionist’ rules in access to parenthood, while the less traditional ones such as Denmark and the Netherlands, show higher family support and wider legal options to become a parent. In Spain and Israel, wider legal options to be recognized as a parent co-exist with comparatively low public support for families. Other developments are observable in Hungary, characterized by relatively high public support for families and narrow legal recognition for family diversity forms.

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Sonia Bertolini, Rosy Musumeci, Manuela Naldini and Paola Maria Torrioni

This chapter aims to illustrate how the social construction of fatherhood and motherhood are mirrored in the plans of a group of interviewed couples expecting their first child and living in Turin in 2010-2012 (a city in the north-west of Italy). The couples’ perceptions of ‘what’s best for the child’ were used as a lens through which the competing forces of Italian family policy and the dominant gender culture were examined. This at a time when the Italian labour market suffered from the 2007-08 economic crisis. Evaluation of couples’ ideals regarding parenthood and their planned strategies to balance work and family life, necessitated a review of how the transition to motherhood and fatherhood contributed to the ‘doing and undoing’ of gender among the couples. In our analyses, we thus paid particular attention to the role that beliefs, ideals and social representations played in the transition to motherhood and fatherhood among the interviewed couples. Moreover, we analysed the importance couples attributed to their financial resources (income and job-related benefits), social resources (family and social network), social policy and work environments when planning for parental and non-parental childcare arrangements. Our analyses show that traditional ideals about what is the best for the child contributed to constructing distinct roles for the interviewed Italian fathers and mothers-to-be. The couples frequently used these ideals to justify differences in their plans concerning men’s and women’s future career investments, participation in the care of the child and the allocation of domestic work. The accounts of our informants suggested a high level of ambivalence towards the transition to a more traditional division of labour. The more egalitarian couples’ resistance to redefining their own future roles occurred in a context in which public support for shared parenthood is weak and a public debate is lacking.
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Teresa Jurado-Guerrero, María José González López and Manuela Naldini

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Giulia M. Dotti Sani, Trudie Knijn, Manuela Naldini, Cristina Solera and Mara A. Yerkes

This chapter explores national attitudes towards civil and social rights across diverse family forms in Europe and the role of European Union in harmonizing these rights across Member States. It uses cross-national data from a pilot study among students in Denmark, Spain, Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands to investigate cross-country differences in these attitudes. It concludes that respondents from more traditional countries tend to privilege the rights of married heterosexual couples over other family forms than respondents in non-traditional countries. In more traditional countries, respondents were less likely to agree that equality on civil rights is necessary. In all countries, advocating a common legal framework across Europe regarding parenthood rights appears to be stronger, and in the field of partnership rights when it concerns civil unions rather than marriages, with no differences across family types. In the field of social rights, the support for a common legal framework across Europe is weaker in less traditional countries.