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Title: We the burden : equal citizenship and its limits in EU law
Author: Neuvonen, Päivi Johanna
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The dynamic interpretation of EU citizenship as a 'fundamental status of all Member State nationals' has opened the door for more horizontal conceptions of equality in European Union law. At the same time, the meaning and purpose of equal treatment in the case of economically inactive and dependent EU citizens has remained ambiguous. The objective of this study is to clarify what normative justifications, other than to eradicate the obstacles to the internal market, can be offered for more just and equal relationships between EU citizens within the existing constitutional order of the EU. What defines EU citizenship as an equal status is how those individuals who hold this status are treated in relation to one another. The thesis discusses in detail how the rationale for discrimination analysis under Article 18 TFEU has changed in parallel with the evolution of EU citizenship. The question of how unlawful discrimination differs from legitimate differential treatment under the so-called 'real link' case law leads to a more theoretical question of what philosophical justifications underlie the EU principle of equality. The democratic theory of equality is used to support the argument that the current bias in favour of 'activity' at the expense of ‘status’ in EU equality law is rooted in a narrow and individualistic view of agency. The thesis, then, argues that recognizing the inherent connection between EU citizens' agency and their subjectivity can provide a justification for a more relational conception of equality even in the absence of a full democratic pedigree in EU law. This analysis contributes a perspective which is usually not there by examining how EU citizenship can benefit from the psycho-dynamic theories of subjectivity that underlie the feminist critique of 'citizenship as agency'.
Supervisor: Ziegler, Katja Sponsor: Osk. Huttunen Foundation ; Emil Aaltonen Foundation ; Finnish Law Society
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: EU Law ; European Law ; EU citizenship ; nationality discrimination ; equal treatment ; EU constitutional law