History, Politics and Law
Edited by Jan van der Harst, Gerhard Hoogers and Gerrit Voerman
Chapter 3: From free cross-border movement to backing legitimacy: European citizenship in a political-historical perspective, 1970–2000
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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