This paper aims to take stock of the key achievements of EU citizenship, almost 25 years after the concept was introduced, but most importantly it aims to identify the pending challenges where more work remains to be done in order to remove the obstacles standing in the way of citizens’ enjoyment of their rights.
In times of crisis, where eurosceptical and europhobic forces are on the rise, there is a dire need to regain citizens’ trust in the European project and to counter the prevailing fatigue. The rights attributed to EU citizens in the Treaties are quite substantial and unique, and some of them are particularly cherished by Europeans. Making sure that they can be properly enjoyed will put the achievements of the project in the spotlight again and will help fight current populist narratives. Failure to do so will only trigger more euroscepticism and distrust in Europe, and ultimately question the very foundations of the Union.
This analysis has been produced by ECAS, ahead of the third Citizenship Report that the European Commission is expected to issue soon. The conclusions of this paper, together with the outcome of the discussions at the U-Impact final Conference on EU Citizenship held in Brussels on 18 May 2016, will be used to elaborate on key recommendations to policy-makers in this area.