Citizenship: Contrasting dynamics at the interface of integration and constitutionalism

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This paper explores the complex tapestry of citizenship in the European Union context, and examines how discourses of citizenship illuminate both the nature of European integration and the process of gradual constitutionalisation. The objective is to re-evaluate the role played by citizenship in the evolving processes of Union polity-formation, and the connection between citizenship and the various dynamics of constitution-making. The paper thus has three substantive sections. The first addresses the role of citizenship of the Union, examining the dynamic relationship between this concept, the role of the Court of Justice, and the free movement dynamic of EU law. The second turns to citizenship in the Union, looking at recent political developments under which concepts of citizenship, and democratic membership as a key dimension of citizenship, have been given greater prominence. The third section links together the conclusions of the previous sections, focusing in particular on the relationship between EU citizenship and national citizenship. One key finding of the paper is that there is a tension between citizenship of the Union, as part of the EU's ‘old’ incremental constitutionalism based on the constitutionalisation of the existing Treaties, and citizenship in the Union, where the possibilities of a ‘new’ constitutionalism based on renewed constitutional documents have yet to be fully realised.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Evolution of EU Law
EditorsPaul Craig, Grainne de Burca
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusSubmitted - 20 May 2020


  • citizenship
  • Treaty of Lisbon
  • Constitution
  • European Union
  • Free Movement

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