European Citizenship: More Than Merely Financial Integration

January 2012

This briefing paper considers thelegal concept of European citizenship.

Is European Citizenship merely amechanism for a deepening financial integration of the European Union? Or isthere a deeper meaning and a deeper reasoning for the development of theconcept of European Union Citizenship into an all-encompassing philosophy whichgives rights and stretches into all areas of life for member state citizens?

This paper looks at the concept ofcitizenship of the Union and its evolution in particular its role in theintegration of European Union law with that of member states domestic law. Thispaper examines whether European Union Citizenship has indeed evolved beyondbeing merely a mechanism for economic participation in the internal market witha view to discovering its current position in the law of the European Union inparticular through the various case law given by the European Court of Justiceon the subject.

The development of the case lawthrough the ECJ and through the concepts that surround Citizenship of the Unionthat so far a clear attempted has been made to make a difference to the life ofthose who come under the umbrella of EU citizenship. It certainly seems from thedecisions in the ECJ that there is an attempt to break from the merelyfinancial and economic nature and categories of the EU and that citizenship hasdeveloped as a parallel but different area of EU law to those purely economicmechanisms that exist within the EU.

However, although large strides havebeen made to improve the rights of nationals of Member States these rights asCraig and De Burca tell us; ‘not superseded or overshadowed the existingstatus categories under EU law’ leaving the rights citizens enjoy to bethin and still to have a strong economic focus. It can be seen though that thepositive growth of rights that are expanding for EU citizens at a steady andregular pace and are moving further and further from purely economic designs.

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