EU Citizenship

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EU Citizenship is an additional status, held by persons who hold the nationality of an EU Member State. There are currently 28 EU Member States, including the United Kingdom.

EU Citizenship is created by article 9 of the Treaty on European Union and article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. EU citizens enjoy the rights and are subject to the duties provided for in these treaties. Among those rights are:

(a) the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States;

(b) the right to vote and to stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in their Member State of residence, under the same conditions as nationals of that State;

(c) the right to enjoy, in the territory of a third country in which the Member State of which they are nationals is not represented, the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State on the same conditions as the nationals of that State; and

(d) the right to petition the European Parliament, to apply to the European Ombudsman, and to address the institutions and advisory bodies of the Union in any of the Treaty languages and to obtain a reply in the same language.

The right to free movement within the territory of the EU Member States is further provided for by article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and article 45(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union.

The principle secondary rule giving effect to the right of free movement is Directive 2004/38/EC. The principle secondary rule co-ordinating rules on social security for persons who exercise rights of free movement among EU Member States is Regulation 883/2004.

Only certain British nationals are declared to be UK nationals of the purposes of the EU treaties so that they are considered to be nationals of an EU Member State (with the additional status of EU citizen and attendant rights and duties). The following British nationals are nationals of an EU Member State for the purposes of EU law: British citizens, British subjects with the right of abode in the UK, and British overseas territories citizens who acquired that citizenship from a connection with Gibraltar.

Posts on EU Citizenship may be found here.


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