Chapter 2 analyses the historical origins of local and national citizenship constructions, discussing their implications for EU citizenship. Relations between national and local as well as political and economic dimensions vary significantly between countries. This means that policies to develop an EU citizenship which uses an idealised national citizenship as its frame of reference will inevitably be at odds with the variety of citizenship traditions existing in many countries. At the same time, the pluriformity of Europe’s citizenship traditions also provides an opportunity. Instead of starting from scratch, therefore, by trying to develop a completely new centralised form of citizenship the EU would be better advised to acknowledge the national traditions of its Member States and aspire to a multilevel form of citizenship.
Marcel Hoogenboom and Trudie Knijn
From its inception, the European Union (EU) has tried to copy the historical route some of its Member States followed in the 19th and 20th centuries when they built national citizenship; civil (economic) rights came first, social and political rights would follow. Yet in this chapter, it is claimed that ‘effective’ citizenship cannot be accomplished by only granting EU habitants with rights. Both in the pre-modern European cities and towns as well as in 20th-century European nation states, economic rights were complemented by mechanisms that guaranteed the effectuation of citizenship rights in real-life situations. In 20th-century European nation states, these mechanisms were enforced by intermediary associations. By applying their power resources, they were able to build institutional arrangements – ‘polities’ – resulting in a ‘social liberal’ type of citizenship with elements of three basic normative citizenship approaches: liberalism, communitarianism and republicanism. In this chapter it is argued that ‘effective’ EU citizenship can only be accomplished if the formation of new class-based and identity-based ‘communities’ on a local, national and European level is actively stimulated and the building of new and vibrant polities on all three levels is aimed for.
Maarten Prak, Marcel Hoogenboom and Patrick Wallis
The chapter analyses the formation of European citizenship from a historical perspective. Compared to the transition of citizenship rights from the local to the national level in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, EU citizenship can be characterised as a unique project. Never before in history was an attempt made to forge more than two dozen highly developed nation states into a new supranational entity. The formation of citizenship in Europe was a two-stage process. During the medieval and early modern periods, a robust form of urban citizenship developed. In 1789, that urban model of citizenship was overturned by the French Revolution, which introduced a national model of citizenship. At the beginning of the 21st century the further integration of EU Member States has already resulted in the transfer of some national citizenship rights (especially civil and economic rights) to a higher – European – level. From a historical perspective, the chapter asks what alternatives Europe’s own history can offer.
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.