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The Concept of'European Citizenship': National Experiences and Post-National Expectations?
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
2003 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to interpret and understand the concept of citizenship in general, and the European citizenship in particular, placed within a broad theoretical framework. Furthermore, the purpose is to examine whether the development of a European citizenship indicates an emergence of a new ‘post-national’ model of citizenship, based on residence rather than nationality or place of birth. In order to address this, the status of third- country nationals (TCN’s), who are legally long-term residents within the Union, in relation to EU citizens has been analysed from the theoretical perspectives.

Different models of citizenship provide the paper with a theoretical framework, through which the empirical data has been examined. The theoretical approaches dealt with in this paper are the liberal, the republican/communitarian and the ‘post-national’ models of citizenship respectively. Fundamental ‘key concepts’ have been derived from these different models of citizenship, which have facilitated the analysis by providing the interpretation of the EU citizenship with an analytical framework.

To find answers to the initial research questions and fulfil the aim of the paper, a qualitative and hermeneutic study has been carried out, aiming at interpreting and understanding the European citizenship placed within its socio-political context. Text and language constitute the units of analysis and, hence, a textual analysis has been conducted of official EU documents. Following a conceptual history approach, concepts are not just reflections of historical processes, but can themselves contribute to historical change by making new things imaginable. As emphasised throughout the paper, concepts embrace at the same time a ‘space of experience’ and a ‘horizon of expectation’.

The main conclusions drawn from the research can be summarised in a number of points. First, while the concept of European citizenship was originally connected to a formal and economic view upon citizenship, close to a liberal/neo-liberal notion of citizenship, the texts express an aim of a more active citizenship, emphasised in the republican/communitarian tradition. Secondly, despite a multicultural and post-national rhetoric concerning the status of long-term resident TCN’s, the gaining of ‘full’ EU citizenship can still only be attained through nationality in a Member State. Thirdly, the importance of interpreting a concept placed within its socio-political context has been clear from the study. The semantic analysis has showed a close link between the European citizenship andthe goal to create an ‘area of freedom, security and justice’ throughout the Union. This goal is interpreted as a response to recent occurrences in the world, but at the same time it expresses expectations about the EU citizenship, and it can thus itself affect future developments in this field.

To sum up, while the concept of European citizenship is post-national to the extent that it applies to all EU citizens irrespective of where in the Union they live, it is still not completely based on the principle of residence. Only nationals of an EU Member State can obtain citizenship of the Union. Thus, the concept of European citizenship, while establishing a citizenship across national borders, is still based on nationality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2003. , 76 p.
International Master's Programme in International and European Relations, 2003:08
Keyword [en]
Social sciences, EU, European citizenship, citizenship, third-country nationals, justice and home affairs, immigration policy, area of freedom security and justice, conceptual history, liberalism, communitarianism, multiculturalism, post-nationalism
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2004OAI: diva2:19332
Available from: 2003-11-07 Created: 2003-11-07

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