Moving Beyond Barriers
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Moving Beyond Barriers

Prospects for EU Citizenship

Edited by Sandra Seubert, Marcel Hoogenboom, Trudie Knijn, Sybe de Vries and Frans van Waarden

This book identifies, analyses and compares a variety of possible ‘barriers’ to the exercise of European citizenship and discusses ways to move beyond these barriers. It contributes in a multi-disciplinary way to a highly topical issue and offers new perspectives on EU citizenship in the sense that it critically analyses concepts of citizenship, the way EU citizenship is politically, legally and socially institutionalized, and elaborates alternatives to the current paths of realizing EU citizenship.
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Chapter 15: Conclusions

Trudie Knijn, Marcel Hoogenboom, Sandra Seubert and Sybe de Vries


In the past few decades we have observed soaring anti-Europeanism in many EU Member States under conditions of expanding European citizenship rights in almost all domains of life: economy, social protection, law, democracy and family. This paradox – if not contradiction – is what the FP7 research programme bEUcitizen has struggled with, tried to unravel and now has to address. Are we dealing with a paradox, that is, seeming though not real contradictive tendencies, or do we face fundamental and unsolvable contradictions between the EU on the one hand, and citizens and constitutions of EU Member States on the other hand, or – and even more complicated – does the concept of (EU) citizenship itself contain contradictions? In its call for reflecting on barriers towards EU citizenship that has founded this programme the wording has been proactive: ‘The concept of European Union citizenship lies at the heart of the EU’s unique polity. The challenges that the EU faces in making EU citizens more aware of their rights and obligations and in seeking to overcome the persistent shortcomings related to the exercise of EU citizens’ rights and obligations’. Now, after four years of research with the involvement of academic experts in law, economics, social science, philosophy and history from 19 countries and 26 universities, the balance is made up and the main conclusions have to be drawn.

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