Revisiting Union Citizenship from a Fundamental Rights perspective in the time of Brexit

Volker Roeben, Petra Minnerop, Jukka Snell, Pedro Telles

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The aim of this article is to offer a fundamental rights reading of Union Citizenship at a time where individual life choices based on the assumed certainty of Union Citizenship and the right to free movement are put in jeopardy. The withdrawal of a Member State from the European Union serves as a prism through which to revisit the conception of Union Citizenship. The article starts by providing a close analysis of the evolving case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on that citizenship. The article then highlights the potential of a normative, fundamental and human rights approach to Union Citizenship that includes individuals in the EU legal order and protects them against exclusion through the removal of that right. That allows a coherent interpretation of the recent case law on citizenship, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the general principles of Union law as derived from constitutional traditions of the Member States and international law. If Union Citizenship is understood as such a fundamental rights-based concept, then the intrinsic connection between being a Union citizen and a national of a Member States of the Union competes with the protection of Union citizenship as a fundamental right that is conferred on each individual. Union Citizenship is not just an objective status that States can confer and remove.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-473
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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