City Research Online

European Citizenship: Mobile Nationals, Immobile Aliens and Random Europeans

Strumia, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-0361-7327 (2009). European Citizenship: Mobile Nationals, Immobile Aliens and Random Europeans. In: Greve, M. S. & Zoeller, M. (Eds.), Citizenship in America and Europe: Beyond the Nation-State? (pp. 45-70). AEI Press.


European citizenship, a dormant alter ego of nationality, becomes active and consequential when a resident of an EU member country moves to or visits a country other than her own. An Ethiopian national who has lived and worked in Italy for eight years faces very different prospects for legal inclusion, labor market access, nondiscrimination guarantees, and family reunification than, say, a French national with an identical residency and employment record in Italy. In this context, European citizenship maneuvers invisible but significant boundaries, which still mark the nominally borderless space of the European Union. It turns a blind eye to immigrants’ claims that in some way they belong to the European Union. As the main source of mobility rights, European citizenship creates two Europes, one for the more European, and one for the less, without achieving any clear definition of what it means to belong to Europe. It intensifies insider/outsider divisions that have been drawn by member states and, in so doing, waives much of its integrative potential. To reward deserving immigrants while discouraging the undeserving, we should rethink the criteria of Europeanness, and extend to resident foreigners some of the Europe-wide benefits of European citizenship.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This chapter has been published in "Citizenship in America and Europe: Beyond the Nation-State? " by AEI PRESS.
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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