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Title: The development of European citizenship in E.E.C. law
Author: Evans, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0001 3449 7666
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1981
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The notion of European Community citizenship was first given prominence by Commission Vice-President Sandri in 1968. Since then, frequent references to this notion have been made by the Community institutions. In particular, in November 1977 the European Parliament passed a Resolution outlining the rights and freedoms entailed by such citizenship. They comprised freedom of expression, assembly and association, the right of residence, the right of access to public office and electoral rights. This Resolution then, was apparently designed to provide a comprehensive list of the rights and freedoms of European citizenship. However, it was not accompanied by a definition of this notion, and no such definition may be found in any other published Community document. In fact, uncertainty arises as to the nature of European citizenship from the Communique issued after the December 1974 Summit Conference in Paris, where similar rights and freedoms were described as "special rights" to be enjoyed by "nationals of the Member States" and no mention was made of European citizenship. The first Chapter of the present work, therefore, will begin by seeking a definition of this new form of citizenship. The same Chapter will then turn to the legal and political obstacles to the creation of European citizenship. A legal innovation of this kind could be expected to involve major changes in the domestic law of the Member States, including national constitutional amendments. In addition, the political implications may be considerable. Insofar as the creation of this new form of citizenship leads to individuals deriving rights and freedoms from the Community rather than from their particular Member State, they may come increasingly to identify with the former rather than their own country. Such a transfer of allegiance would constitute a major step towards the political unification of Western Europe at the expense of the old nation-state structure of this region. Consequently, the creation of European citizenship is likely to be a matter of some political controversy, and this controversy in itself may constitute a serious obstacle to its creator. The second chapter will examine what legal basis is contained in the E.E.C. Treaty for the action necessary to overcome these obstacles. Insofar as the Treaty provisions regarding the free movement of persons entail certain rights for individuals throughout the Community, they may be of some relevance for the creation of European citizenship. However, since these rights are basically concerned with economic activity, their relevance should not be overestimated. Nevertheless, several other provisions confer on the Community institutions broad powers to introduce measures for the attainment of the Community's objectives. To the extent that the creation of European citizenship is encompassed by these objectives, these provisions may offer a basis for the introduction of the rights and freedoms entailed by such citizenship. However, the mere that such a basis may be found in the Treaty will not necessarily be sufficient in itself. The willingness of the Community institutions to employ the relevant provisions as a basis for the necessary action, despite the politically sensitive nature of such action, will remain decisive. Accordingly, the willingness of the Community institutions to do so will be considered in Chapter Three. The next four Chapters will examine the progress actually achieved as regards the introduction of the rights and freedoms of European citizenship. In particular, Chapter Four will be concerned with what the European Parliament described in November 1977 as the "right of residence". This right naturally encompasses rights of entry as well as residence for beneficiaries. The principle difference between the rights envisaged by the Parliament and those envisaged by the Treaty provisions regarding the free movement of persons lies in the fact that the former will not apparently be limited to the economic field. In effect, then, the Parliament advocated the introduction of full freedom of movement throughout the Community of the kind usually enjoyed already by individuals within their own country. Chapter Five will then turn to "freedom of political activity". This expression will be employed throughout the present work to denote freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and so on, which were mentioned by the Parliament in November 1977. Finally, Chapter Six will be concerned with the right of access to public office and Chapter Seven with electoral rights. The last two Chapters recognise that the full realisation of European citizenship may require not only the development of the necessary substantive law embodying the relevant rights and freedoms but also the existence of procedures to ensure that these rights and freedoms are in practice respected by the national authorities. Accordingly, Chapter Eight will consider the role of the Commission, which is required by Article 155 of the Treaty to ensure the application of Community law. To this end, the Commission is empowered under Article 169 to bring a Member State in breach of Community law before the European Court of Justice. Chapter Nine, in turn, will consider the role of the national courts. Insofar as individuals are entitled to invoke the relevant Community law before national courts, the latter will be required to review national administrative action to ensure compliance with this law. The examination carried out in these two Chapters will be directed primarily towards the United Kingdom, but references will be made to developments in other Member States where they will assist in illustrating the legal situation in the United Kingdom. The scope of the examination, however, will be influenced by the progress so far achieved in the development of the relevant substantive law and on the nature of this law.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Law