This chapter, going beyond EU citizenship sensu stricto, examines the broader legal framework of EU membership to show that European citizens benefit from an ever-growing corpus of civil rights and liberties, which the EU institutions and Member States must respect and protect. It offers an alternative, more substantial and inclusive, approach to EU citizenship, based on a liberal notion centred on equality and liberty. This alternative EU citizenship remains nonetheless limited in scope, and fragmented, and suffers from enforcement challenges, which put under threat its very notion and practice. The chapter exposes the official notion of EU citizenship and its limited scope, before revealing a broader EU civil rights acquis, including specific EU legislation and the EU system of protection of fundamental rights. It then outlines core civil rights which those who live in the EU enjoy, including not only free movement but also a general protection against discrimination, the right to effective judicial protection, and the right to the protection of personal data, although not historically important civil rights, such as freedom of expression. It concludes on a call for a greater recognition and consolidation of this alternative vision of EU citizenship.
This chapter examines the evolving relationship between free movement and Union citizenship and critically analyses the nature of the EU right to free movement, as a civil as opposed to an economic right. It does so by reviewing EU rules regulating the exercise of the right, as well as engaging in a detailed study of their national implementation and application in selected Member States. It reveals that EU law imposes demanding conditions on the exercise of the right and allows for a range of restrictions, which make it more difficult for certain categories of EU citizens and their families to move and settle. Moreover, even when EU rules are ‘generous’, they are not always respected at the national level, and supranational institutions do not always enforce them vigorously. This calls into question the idea that free movement is, or should be, Union citizens’ core civil right.
EU human rights, as a policy and legal field, is characterised by overlapping and competing regimes, involving complex interactions. As a scholarly field, it is dominated by legal scholars, which results in most works focusing on substantive and institutional developments at EU level and a neglect of the more bottom-up dynamics and the domestic factors, actors and contexts that influence its evolution and application. This chapter provides an overview of EU human rights law and critically reviews the main strands of scholarship which have explored its many facets, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. It calls for greater interdisciplinary engagement in the study of EU human rights and argues that European integration theories and socio-legal works on legal mobilisation, and in particular the concept of legal opportunities, offer useful analytical devices to better understand the development of EU human rights law. The need for more systematic investigations of the root dynamics of engagement with EU human rights instruments and mechanisms, such as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as procedures and remedies involving EU institutions, has become even more salient with the recent rule-of-law crises in Hungary and Poland. Attempts to address those challenges may have far-reaching implications for the future of EU human rights law, and European integration more generally.
Marie-Pierre Granger and Kristina Irion
This chapter argues that the right to data protection is the posterchild of EU citizenship in the digital era. It first provides a brief overview of the gradual construction of the right to personal data protection in the EU. It then identifies the key actors in the process of developing this new right of Union citizens, including those citizens themselves. It then reviews the current legal ‘architecture’ of the right to the protection of personal data and considers whether it could serve as a model for the future development of Union citizenship, notwithstanding remaining challenges at the level of national implementation and public and private compliance with EU rules. Finally, it reflects on the future of the right to data protection, and its contribution to the development of EU citizenship as a legal regime.
Marie-Pierre F. Granger
This chapter examines the application by national courts of the Francovich doctrine of state liability for breach of European Union (EU) law. After a review of the existing literature, it analyses a selection of reported decisions from all member states of the European Union addressing EU law based liability claims decided over the last decade. The analysis suggests that the principle is generally well accepted, even in relation to damages caused by legislative and judicial acts, or regulatory or supervisory failure, which are in breach of EU law, and that it has found its place alongside, or within, national tort regimes. Still, as national courts apply EU conditions restrictively, and impose various additional substantive or procedural requirements, Francovich claims rarely lead to actual compensation, thus casting doubt about its contribution to the enforcement of EU law and the effective protection of individuals’ rights.
Marie-Pierre Granger and Orsolya Salát
Scholars disagree as to whether law ought to include justice considerations, and whether it can effectively address injustices, such as misrepresentation, maldistribution or misrecognition, through the conferral and enforcement of legal rights. In this chapter, we address these questions, drawing on research carried in the ETHOS project involving a theoretically informed ‘black-letter’ law analysis of international, European, national and local legal frameworks which regulate voting, housing and education in six European countries (Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom). We outline the relative importance of rights as a vehicle for justice in the European context, before introducing key theoretical debates on the relationship between law and justice, and relevant conceptual features of legal rights, pointing to some of the challenges of framing different justice claims as rights in Europe. We then explore the scope and limits of addressing injustices through invoking and enforcing rights, by analysing how legal systems approach justice claims as legal rights and how they manage the confrontation between competing conceptions or dimensions of justice, expressed as conflicts between rights, between rights and other legally protected interests, between overlapping and competing legal orders, and between law and politics (judicial deference). We conclude on the implications for achieving greater justice in Europe, and in particular the prioritization of certain justice claims, groups, or processes over others. In relation to the rights and policy contexts explored (vote, housing, education), the framing of justice claims as rights serves better the recognitive justice claims of selected groups, but struggled with promoting more equalitarian redistributive justice or challenging institutional obstacle to equal political representation.
Henri de Waele and Marie-Pierre Granger
This introductory chapter first sketches the overall context of the volume, positioning the topic and the chosen angle within the ongoing scholarly debate on EU citizenship. It clarifies the structure of the book, as well as the lead questions and themes addressed in the various chapters, thereby identifying the underlying philosophy of and interconnections between the two main parts. Lastly, it provides the reader with a concise series of previews, indicating the concrete ‘marching order’ in the individual contributions, while already highlighting some of the authors’ findings and conclusions.
Marie-Pierre Granger and Henri de Waele
This chapter rounds off the book in the form of a brief forward-looking epilogue. Herein, the editors attempt to offer a reply to the questions that have functioned as drivers of the inquiries undertaken by the book’s authors, introduced in the first chapter. By juxtaposing salient findings related to the European, national and private sphere, these different nodes are brought back together, allowing for the formulation of concluding thoughts on possible future trajectories. On that footing, some divergent potential scenarios are reflected upon, ultimately embracing unbounded mobility as the more likely basis for a further evolution of EU citizenship, culminating perhaps in a genuine European civil rights mo(ve)ment.
Edited by Paul James Cardwell and Marie-Pierre Granger
Marie-Pierre Granger and Paul James Cardwell
EU law has played a central part in European integration and governance, and had a transformative effect on politics and societies in Europe. As the EU must deal with unprecedented crises (economic and financial crisis, migration, Brexit, rule of law backsliding, Euroscepticism, climate change, etc), EU law must respond and address new challenges, whilst being increasingly contested. Scholarship on EU law also looks for new paths, to develop more accurate accounts of the evolution and impact of EU law. This Research Handbook follows in the ‘law-in-context’ and critical tradition in the study of EU law and builds on other disciplinary insights (in particular from political sciences, international relations and sociology). It brings together both young and more established legal as well as political sciences scholars to reflect on the changing political environment which influences the development and implementation of EU law, and investigate the impact of EU law on politics and society in Europe. The Handbook addresses cross-cutting issues relating to the institutional order and system of governance, and some of the substantive areas where law and politics meet. The Handbook’s first part focuses on the institutional level of analysis, considering the theory and practice of how the EU institutions evolve, including in their interactions with other actors. The second examines in more detail some of the substantive areas where the politics of EU law can be traced and explained.