3 Conclusions: reshaping European citizenship
In the previous section, we have discussed the ways in which European citizenship is enacted by non-citizens, on the streets and in the courts, and both inside and outside the EU territory. We have been able to observe how people ‘do’ citizenship by looking at how citizenship is enacted ‘on the ground’ rather than solely by EU institution or states. By having done so, we have been able to see that citizenship is dynamic and it is contended. Instead of being simply a status, different groups organise and mobilise in order to demand citizenship rights or to challenge the existing instituted regimes of rights. It is precisely through these contestations and negotiations that EU citizenship is made and remade. Moreover, it is in this process and through claiming rights that new citizens emerge and partake in making of European citizenship.
When we look at the citizenship from the perspective of acts of citizenship as we have done in this module, we are left with a number of questions as our old convictions about citizenship no longer hold. If, non-citizens as for example Kurdish citizens in Turkey are key to the making of European citizenship, where do the borders of the EU begin and end? Why still talk of citizenship if non-citizens ‘do’ citizenship too? What are the policy implications of acts of citizenship perspective on citizenship? How can mobilisation and contestation be part of democratic politics? Aren’t they the exact opposite of democracy?
Let us discuss some of these issues with Mike Saward.
Transcript: Interview with Mike Saward
The idea to cover in this interview is about policy implications that arise of AoC and how they impact on the EU citizenship and European citizenship. The guiding thread is the question of democracy.
We have just finished speaking about remapping Europe and redrawing the boundaries of who is a citizens and who is not. If non-citizens are enacting themselves as European citizens, where does this leave those who already are European citizens? To put this different, acts of citizenship focuses on rupturing of established citizenship scripts. What are the implications of this for activist citizenship?
The idea here is to repeat again the notion of active and activist citizenship and explain them shortly (again). And raise the issue that activist citizenship can also be seen as an extension of active citizenship and explain why.
Could we then say that there are two aspects of European citizenship that we always need to take into consideration and that these are its legal and its political dimensions?
Here the idea is to show, by referring to the 4 cases, how both political and legal need to be taken in consideration as ‘acts of citizenship’ in some cases shape the legal status (as with the European Court of Justice), and in others challenge politically EU’s citizenship scope and content (such as those by Kurds and sex workers).
What are the policy implications of looking at citizenship from the perspective of acts of citizenship?
The idea here to convey is that claims to European citizenship and rights are enacted in a range of unexpected and unconventional ways, as well as through the courts. This is an ineradicable part of the development of European citizenship.