Mobility and Unspoken Citizens’ Rights in EU-Documents
Mäkinen, K. (2015). Mobility and Unspoken Citizens’ Rights in EU-Documents. New Zealand Journal of Research on Europe, 9 (1), 1-58.
Published inNew Zealand Journal of Research on Europe
© Mäkinen & The Europe Institute at The University of Auckland, 2015. This is an open access article published by The Europe Institute at The University of Auckland.
The formulation of Union citizenship has concentrated on rights since the 1970s. In the Maastricht and subsequent EU treaties, Union citizenship is defined through rights. Against this background, discussion on rights in the EU documents on citizenship analysed in this article is surprisingly scarce. The research material consists of 15 documents produced by EU institutions in 2003–2007 as part of three programmes on citizenship. In the documents, the discussion on rights focuses on mobility instead of other aspects of rights. Electoral rights and fundamental rights are discussed a little, but in general, the minuscule discussion on rights is dominated by discussions on freedom of mobility, which appears to be the most important right of the Union citizen. Union citizenship is understood above all as citizenship of a mobile person and as a status guaranteeing freedom of movement. Conception of free movement as the core of citizens’ rights keep up the citizenship discussions in the history of integration. Freedom for mobility lies also in the core of the area of freedom, security and justice – an area construct discussed in the documents. Both Union citizenship and the area of freedom, security and justice are innovations, through which EU can use power in the nation states’ traditional fields of action: border control and citizenship. The central position given to the freedom of mobility and its connection with the economy as well as understanding citizenship rather as a status than practice link the Union citizenship formulated in the rights discussions to the liberalist tradition. Discussions on freedom of mobility imply both promoting and regulating mobility as well as crossing and drawing borders. In this kind of discussions on rights, Union citizenship appears as a category with which people and mobility as well as the entire integration can be governed. These discussions do not promote citizenship as political agency. ...