European Union Citizenship: the hard road between a promising potential and bitterness
At the outset, the paper briefly addresses European Union (EU) citizenship as enshrined in the Treaty on the European Union. Attention is paid on its transnational nature. The political symbolism attached to EU citizenship is also emphasised, as it tries to emulate national concepts of belonging at the EU level. Despite some achievements, flaws are nevertheless a major setback on the EU ambition for supranational citizenship’s limited scope. European Union citizenship is addressed through a twofold conceptual lens. On the one hand, it is measured in terms of the impact on citizens loyalties. Eurobarometer and other statistical data are scrutinised to draw a picture on whether citizens drive their loyalties to the EU or to the national (or even regional) levels. Therefore, empirical data provide an assessment of EU citizenship outcomes. Sixteen years of EU citizenship is a considerable time span to make this assessment. On the other hand, the paper asks whether the attempt to forge a complementary citizenship is out of context, considering the common understanding that citizenship is connected with taxation and representation. Thus, a normative approach of EU citizenship is also a reason of concern. Liberal democracies are anchored (among other things) on the “no taxation without representation” principle. I draw an extension of the aforementioned principle and ask whether the absence of significant EU taxation powers is an obstacle to effective supranational citizenship. Thus, the research question is whether EU citizenship is credible and effective if citizens don’t pay taxes to the EU?
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