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Mevrouw de Jong Gaat Eten: EU Citizenship and the Culture of Prejudice


  • Dimitry Kochenov


This essay discusses the dubious premises of ‘repressive liberalism’ underlying the policies of cultural ‘integration’ that have been adopted by a number of otherwise liberal democracies around the world. The author uses his own first-hand experience of naturalisation in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the pioneering jurisdiction with regards to the introduction of ‘cultural integration’, in order to expose the counterproductive nature of the ‘integration’ approach to the absorption of non-citizens. The essay claims that there is no such thing as a ‘nation-specific’ culture to be tested and that the creation and consolidation of EU citizenship changed the whole framework of reference within which any Member State nationality operates and should be discussed. The argument is that, particularly in the EU context, culture and language testing before naturalisation is built on false assumptions and does not serve any identifiable goal that would go beyond the perpetuation of prejudice. Since testing stigmatises a large number of Europeans and potentially undermines social cohesion in the Member States, it should be abolished.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitry Kochenov, 2011. "Mevrouw de Jong Gaat Eten: EU Citizenship and the Culture of Prejudice," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 6, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0279

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Vincent Della Sala, 2010. "Political Myth, Mythology and the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 1-19, January.
    3. Christine Sypnowich, 2000. "The Culture of Citizenship," Politics & Society, , vol. 28(4), pages 531-555, December.
    4. Rostek, Karolina & Davies, Gareth, 2006. "The impact of Union citizenship on national citizenship policies," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 10, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rainer Bauböck, 2014. "Should Citizenship be for Sale?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers p0360, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).

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    citizenship; European citizenship; nationality;

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