Testing the bonds of solidarity in Europe’s Common Citizenship Area

Jo Shaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The European Citizens’ Initiative proposing the extension of voting rights for resident non-national EU citizens to all elections in the host state is an important and timely initiative. The EU struggles with the challenges posed by the question of ‘who should vote in which election where’ because it is nestled somewhere between the ‘truly’ federalised polity and the ‘purely’ intergovernmental association. The creation of EU citizenship and the remodelling of the treaties according to the ‘Lisbon’ schema do not provide a definitive normative answer to the question of how voting rights should be organised within this mixed polity in which the states remain significant actors. At the same time clearly the practical consequences of the exercise of free movement demand some sort of response – from the EU institutions and from the member states – to the ‘democratic wrong’ (as Owen puts it) that arises because many of those who exercise their right to free movement end up, in one way or another, being disenfranchised in relation to all of the elections not covered by Article 22 TFEU, unless they choose the often costly and cumbersome route of acquiring the citizenship of the host state or are lucky enough to have the citizenship of one of the member states which impose no conditions upon the exercise of external voting rights.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebating European Citizenship
EditorsRainer Bauböck
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9783319899053
ISBN (Print)9783319899046, 9783030078911
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameIMISCOE Research Series
ISSN (Print)2364-4087
ISSN (Electronic)2364-4095


  • European citizens
  • external voting
  • host state
  • mixed polarity
  • voting rights


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