This chapter offers a comparative perspective on citizenship and identity in Switzerland, Canada and Spain and compares these cases in relation to the EU. Switzerland has managed to bring together diverse identities in a historical process that has seen the transformation of confederalism into federalism; Canada has evolved towards an advanced form of federalism while dealing with internal minorities and First Nations and a major constitutional reform; Spain, in parallel to democratisation, has developed a regionalised model with some federal characteristics in a political context marked by political tensions and violence. Similar to these cases, the EU has to deal with diversity and can learn from three variables that are compared among the cases: constitutional inclusion of constituent units, accommodation of political identities and asymmetrical institutional arrangements in order to deal with internal minorities. The chapter concludes with some specific policy recommendations.
Clara Isabel, Velasco Rico and Marc Sanjaume-Calvet
This chapter analyses how Canada deals with diversity, internal minorities and immigration and compares the country’s institutions and policies with the EU. Issues such as diversity in immigration policies, internal minorities and majorities, multiple historical interpretations and constitutional debates on how to accommodate this diversity are common both in Canada and the EU. The origins of the EU and Canada as well as their institutional structure differ; however, the capacity of the Canadian federal model to accommodate multiple citizenship regimes, the development of a decentralised immigration policy and, most importantly, the model’s multicultural approach could be a source of inspiration for the EU.