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Citizenship in the Context of EU Enlargement: Post-Accession CEE Migrants as Union Citizens

Currie, Samantha. (2007) Citizenship in the Context of EU Enlargement: Post-Accession CEE Migrants as Union Citizens. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. Prior to the 2004 enlargement of the European Union the older Member States (the EU15) voiced concerns that labour market disruption and benefit tourism would occur upon extension of the right to free movement to nationals of the eight central and eastern European accession countries (the EU8). Consequently, the Treaty of Accession 2003 included transitional arrangements enabling the EU15 to derogate from the acquis on the free movement of workers for a maximum period of seven years.1 Most recently, following the enlargement which took place in 2007, an analogous regime has been imposed on nationals of Bulgaria and Romania (the EU2).2 The concern of this paper is to take a closer look at the relationship between the nationals of the recently-acceded central and eastern European (CEE) Member States and the evolving status of Union citizenship.3 As the free movement of persons provisions, which extend valuable mobility rights and contingent social entitlement to EU citizens, constitute a central, if not the central, facet of Union citizenship, one of the main objectives of the paper is to explore the impact of restricted mobility rights during the transitional period(s) on the citizenship status of nationals from the CEE Member States. First, attention turns to the notion of Union citizenship itself and the significance of free movement to a meaningful interaction with the status is emphasised. In the second part of the paper the contention that EU8 and EU2 nationals have been granted a ‘second-class’ citizenship status is explored in further detail. Certainly, transitional restrictions impact on the traditionally privileged category of economic migrant workers who, undoubtedly, occupy a less-privileged status during the transitional period. The typical typology of free movement entitlement under Community law is examined (i.e. that applicable to EU15 nationals and to nationals of Cyprus and Malta), and then the newest CEE citizens are incorporated into the citizenship hierarchy. Part three then considers the opportunities for EU8 and EU2 nationals to rely on the broader, non-economic right to free movement as a citizen flowing from Article 18 EC as, despite the imposition of transitional arrangements on the free movement rights of workers, CEE citizens are entitled to migrate throughout the EU under the sponsorship of one of the other categories of citizenship status. In examining the links between EU8 and EU2 nationals and the different sites of free movement in the EC Treaty there is also scope to trace the development of Union citizenship from a predominantly market-based status (attaching only to those ‘worthy’ economic migrants connected to the functioning of the Internal Market) to an arguably more inclusive and social conception of citizenship. The latter understanding of citizenship provides scope for economically inactive migrants to gain a degree of access to the status of citizenship and the valuable rights that append to it. Although it must be recognised that the non-economic mobility rights are clearly of value to some CEE citizens, the paper argues that the denial of the (complete) right to move as a worker continues to be a significant loss to the overall citizenship package extended to EU8 and EU2 nationals.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Central and Eastern Europe
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > European citizenship
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 41
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:50

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