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Communicating the Mutation of Member States' Nationalities

Dimitry Kochenov

Communicating European citizenship is impossible without critical assessment of the dynamics of development of Member States' nationalities in Europe. Old-school thinking about nationality, which ultimately undermines the understanding of European citizenship, is not an option any more at the present stage of European integration. Amplifying global trends resulting in the diminishing in importance of state nationalities, European integration shaped a legal reality where the importance of particular nationalities is dwarfed compared with that of EU citizenship. Short of being abolished in the legal sense, nationalities mostly serve as access points to the status of EU citizenship. The status provided by the Community is practically more important for all the individuals in possession of it, than any Member State nationality as such, bringing important rights, including equal treatment in twenty seven, as opposed to one state. Member State nationality is bound to mutate to a considerable extent under the pressures of the internal market, non-discrimination on the basis of nationality, and EU citizenship. In one example, already now several Member States differentiate between EU citizens and third country nationals for the purposes of naturalisation. The result of this mutation will necessarily be a legal status which is more aware of its own limitations. This reinvention of nationality will necessarily result in critical scrutiny of all its attributes which are taken for granted in the Member States today, including the importance and uniqueness of local nationalities, preventing Europeans from grasping the essence of EU citizenship.



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