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The EU Centre is proud to present a new background brief on EU citizenship: Citizenship and identity beyond national borders by Mr Loke Hoe Yeong (Associate, EU Centre in Singapore).
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty not only spelt the beginning of the European Union (EU) as we know it today, but also introduced the concept of supranational EU citizenship – essentially, this citizenship gives citizens of the 28 member states the right to free movement, settlement and employment across the EU, and the right to vote in European elections.
This background brief discusses the evolving concept of citizenship, as well as the history and the legal status of EU citizenship. Furthermore, the paper also argues that the idea of EU citizenship has served more than just symbolic value – it is tied to the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights thus cementing political rights, and at the same time, such an idea has put pressure on the EU to address the perceived democratic deficit that it is often accused of. Indeed, the importance of EU citizenship has even led the EU to earmark 2013 as the European Year of Citizens.