Shaw, Jo. (2007) "Political rights and multilevel citizenship in Europe". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. In the EU, it is now well established that the various regimes of rights enjoyed by citizens are dispersed across the national and supranational levels. This is an empirical and not a normative observation, and it is not intended to pre-empt any further discussion about the theoretical possibility of a true ‘supranational citizenship’ in a world of nation states. But in fact, empirical observation shows that even in the sensitive arena of political rights, a multi-level system of rights allocation exists. Articles 19(1) and 19(2) EC interfere, in respect of municipal and European Parliamentary elections respectively, with the sovereignty of the Member States, by requiring that the states respect the equal treatment right of a citizen of the European Union (i.e. a national of one of the Member States) to vote and stand as a candidate under the same conditions as nationals when resident in a Member State of which she is not a national. So far as it is possible and reasonable to treat the EU as an emerging polity which has (at least descriptively speaking) some federal features, this dispersion of political rights across political levels is not really surprising. The EU’s treatment of electoral rights for non-national EU citizens is an important element of an overall package of measures concerned with intra-EU migration, drawing upon not only Articles 17-22 EC, but also the other treaty provisions which deal with the free movement of persons, and a variety of secondary legislative instruments (notable the Citizens’ Rights Directive of 20041). While it has long been one of the EU’s raisons d’être as part of the internal market project to ensure the equal treatment of nationals of other Member States as privileged foreigners (or so-called second country nationals) in the host Member State, the EU has also increasingly taken on a role in relation to aspects of the movement of third country nationals into and across (and out of) the Member States, not least by creating a Schengen Borders Code and a Schengen Visa and Information System applicable most of the pre-2004 Member States. Stretching the limited competences conferred upon it by the Treaty of Amsterdam in this domain also into the realm of post-admission settlement and integration, the EU has adopted a Directive on long term resident third country nationals,2 in which it has enacted a limited principle of non-discrimination for the benefit of groups of third country nationals who satisfy a minimum period of residence within the Member States. These developments highlight the extent to which the EU may be faced, in the future, with further challenges relating to the division of competences in relation to questions of immigration.
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