Understanding EU Citizenship: from the Past to the Present

An event organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) and supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

«Citizenship is hereby established. […] Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights and be subject to  the duties provided for in the Treaties. », stipulates Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union.
However, do we as European citizens really know what the concept of citizenship means for us today and which concrete rights it entails apart from voting on 26 May ? As there remains still much to do in the field, we take the opportunity to put a spotlight onto EU citizenship shortly after Europe Day and only ten days before the European elections.

Introduced with the Maastricht Treaty under Art. 20-25 TFEU in an attempt to bring European citizens closer to the EU and to forge European identity, EU citizenship has evolved steadily since 1992. Following the British vote to leave the European Union on 23rd June 2016, questions of EU citizenship regained prominence as well.
However, EU citizenship is often too complex or too vague for many citizens. While a majority of Europeans confirm they are aware of their rights as citizens of the European Union, they would also like to know more according to a Eurobarometer survey (March 2018).
In order to understand the essence and scope of application of the supranational EU citizenship concept, one has to take into account different elements : the Treaty framework, the derivate character of Union citizenship and its implementation through secondary law. The different economic, social, civic and political rights conferred by EU citizenship are therefore as heterogeneous as the different fundaments it is built on.
This lecture-debate on EU citizenship, given by an expert in the field and consultant to the Italian Embassy in the UK, aims to explore the legal dimensions of Union citizenship and to give a brief overview of its development in the last 15 years. In view of current Brexit negotiations, special attention will be paid to the question of EU citizenship in the context of withdrawal from the EU.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation,

                Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels


Kindly register until 15 May at : https://tinyurl.com/EUcitizenshipPast-Present *


11:30  Welcome
Thomas Ilka,

Director European Dialogue, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Brussels

Daniel Kaddik,

Executive Director, European Liberal Forum (ELF)


11:45 “European citizenship, free movement and the Brexit case“

Dr Francesca Strumia,

Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield


Maarten De Groot,

European Programme Officer, Democracy International


Carmen Descamps,

European Affairs Manager, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Brussels


12:30 Q&A

13:00 Lunch Buffer

13:30 End of the Event


*Please note that you will be forwarded to a
Google Drive sheet.