Author: Luigi Moccia
Abstract: The concept of European citizenship grew in importance as a research topic in the academic and public debates, especially after the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty. The paper seeks to analyze the features of the European citizenship in close relation with core values like dignity, freedom, equality, solidarity and justice. The European citizenship is also approached from the perspective of its functions within the European integration process : 1) to operate as a framework legitimizing the united Europe; 2) to ensure that private individuals have full legal status; 3) to motivate and reinforce the formation of a European cultural identity; 4)to postulate and justify a capacity to participate in decision-making processes in a European framework on the part of (groups of) individual citizens, i.e. civil society. From a more technical angle (and not just in terms of value), the benefit of having Union citizenship as a basic reference framework legitimizing the jurisdiction of Community institutions to intervene, through measures of standardization and harmonization above all in the field of private law, is provided by its nature – as we explained earlier – as a “complement” to national citizenship.
Keywords: cultural identity, European citizenship, European Union, fundamental rights, national citizenship