This chapter follows a ‘Law and Literature’ approach towards EU citizens’ access to social benefits. The author demonstrates that law is not just a set of rules or institutions, but a dialogical and literary activity, which can be analysed and criticized as such. This approach is applied with regard to landmark judgments on EU citizenship such as the Grzelczyk and the Dano cases. The author argues how a ‘Law and Literature’ approach to EU citizenship contributes to understanding and critically assessing the way in which legal narratives shape EU citizenship rights.
Hanneke van Eijken and Pauline Phoa
In principle, Member States are exclusively competent to decide how persons can acquire and lose their nationality, but EU law, and more specifically Union citizenship rights, provides important outer limits. The chapter first offers an overview of recent reports on this topic, highlighting commonalities and idiosyncrasies of the domestic systems. Furthermore, it provides an analysis of developments in the EU that provide the aforementioned legal framework that Member State laws need to respect. The chapter subsequently comments on recent developments in the light of the interplay of the EU legal framework with domestic nationality laws. It is concluded that the relationship between Member State nationality and EU citizenship can be looked at from two perspectives, namely, on the one hand, as an example of the dynamic division of competences between the EU and its Member States, and on the other, from a more conceptual, fundamental level.