The significance of the European Union for the evolution of citizenship and immigration policies : the cases of the United Kingdom and Italy
This thesis analyses the link that the establishment of European citizenship creates between citizenship, nationality, and immigration policies. To be a European citizen, one needs to be a national of a member state. According to this criterion, nationality and citizenship are bound to each other. There is no possibility of access for those who do not have the status of national citizenship. European citizenship legitimised a privileged position to which not all individuals are entitled, and conditions of access are under the jurisdiction of each member state. It is argued that normatively European citizenship reinforces the ideology of nationality while empirically it has been used to forge a sort of European identity. In other words, the underlying argument is that European citizenship functions to define European identity and nationality functions towards the establishment of national immigration policies. This process leads to the formation of a binary typology of 'us and them', strengthened by legislation and political debates. The formation of the category of 'us' as Europeans does not find a response at the empirical level as the public does not fully identify with the Euro-polity. What emerges instead is that the public regards 'compatibility' between a European and national identity as more optimal. The principal benefit of Euro-citizenship is to re-prioritise the means of citizenship from political rights to social and economic rights. This 'opportunity structure', nevertheless, remains in a void as long as Community membership relies on the condition of nationality. The thesis proposes the introduction of a 'legal subjectivity' based on the redefinition of the concept of legality detached from nationality and grounded in the active exercise of civil, political, and social rights. Such a redefinition is necessary to sidestep the difficulties entailed in any attempt to separate citizenship from nationality in theory and practice. This would deprive citizenship of its regulative functions in terms of inclusion and exclusion, and it would reduce the importance attached to the inherent link between citizenship and nationality.