Prospects for EU Citizenship
Edited by Sandra Seubert, Marcel Hoogenboom, Trudie Knijn, Sybe de Vries and Frans van Waarden
Chapter 9: The protection of civil rights and liberties and the transformation of Union citizenship
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.
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