Author: Ştefana Ignea
Abstract: It has been two decades since Citizenship of the European Union was enforced by the Maastricht Treaty, in 1992. Throughout these years, it has evolved from an economic perspective to a more complex form, which stands as a guarantee for political, economic and social rights. The European Union has improved through the enforcement of a EU citizenship and has grown to a more democratic and modern “political object” or “form”, but it still faces great challenges concerning this aspect. An important part of the Justice and Home Affairs area is still controlled by the member states, including the granting and withdrawl of EU citizenship. The general guidelines and the directives submitted by the EU are still weakly implemented within the member states and this is one of the reasons why the EU citizens face difficulties when excercising their rights on a supranational level.Recent Eurobarometres have shown that less than half of the EU citizens are familiar with their status and rights within the EU. This problem, being a two-way road, is why both institutions and citizens are to blame for it.First step: aknowledging there Is a problem. Next step: solving it. Citizenship of the European Union needs to be rebranded and get a better support for its understanding and implementation. This paper is about the chalenges, both old and new, the EU citizenship has faced since its enforcement and, mainly, since the last enlargement wave in 2007.
Keywords: citizenship of the European Union, European rights, participation, awareness, Eurobarometer