European Citizenship in Perspective
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European Citizenship in Perspective

History, Politics and Law

Edited by Jan van der Harst, Gerhard Hoogers and Gerrit Voerman

Civil, economic, political and social rights are at the centre of the concept of European citizenship. In this volume, the focus is on the political-constitutional dimension of European citizen­ship, which is discussed from the perspective of several disciplines – history, constitutional law and political science. It provides a multi-faceted account of the evolution of European citizenship and its institutionalization, explaining why certain rights came into existence at a certain time and focussing on several key actors involved, such as the European Court of Justice.
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Chapter 3: From free cross-border movement to backing legitimacy: European citizenship in a political-historical perspective, 1970–2000

Anjo G. Harryvan and Jan van der Harst


From the early 1960s onwards, cross-border mobility was gradually linked to citizens’ rights. The 1975 Tindemans proposals to broaden the scope of free movement and non-discrimination beyond labour mobility, most notably in the form of active and passive voting rights at local elections, culminated in a discourse on European citizenship as a quintessential tool to remedy the perceived democratic deficit. During the 1980s, as the citizens’ voice could and should no longer be ignored and Europe was to be brought to the citizen, the powers of the European Parliament found substantial extension and potent symbols such as a common European passport and the European flag were introduced. The 1992 Maastricht Treaty capped these innovations by introducing European citizenship to all citizens of the European Union, granting them the right to free cross-border movement across Member States’ territories and the right to vote and stand as a candidate in local government and European Parliament elections in their country of residence.

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