Tuesday, 28 May 2013

We can only have one citizenship

As the integration in the European union has deepened and through the expansion of the EU, we have seen a two-speed union emerge.
At the same time, several proposals from both national and European leaders say that the Union should consolidate different levels of integration within the framework of the Union in order to be able to move integration further.
The core of the Union would be fully integrated in some form of a political union, followed by multiple levels of lower integration around that core. Proposals for a second Parliament for the eurozone has also been on the table.
What does this mean in practise and what are the consequences for the Citizens in a Member State residing in the periphery of the unions integration? Well, we can already see how different levels of integration has consequences for individual citizens. Citizens from Romania and Bulgaria have been denied access to Schengen and have openly been targeted as social tourists at the same time as some national leaders advocates for a limit on their freedom of movement and other rights of European Citizens. The very foundation of the European citizenship, namely the right to live and work throughout the Union is threatened. Taken together this has already created different levels of citizenship.

What we see here is a tendency towards a first and a second-class citizenship. It is a unacceptable development!
There are also national Governments that actively and openly, not only trying to counter deeper integration but also seeks to reverse integration, which in turn made integrationists come up with a counter proposal, a new form of membership, called associated member for those Member States who feel integration has gone to far.
The consequences this would bring to individual citizens is alarming. In a strong and United Europe all citizens must have the same rights and the same opportunity's. Something that seems to call for a European Constitution. The Member states that through democratic processes choose to remain outside the necessary future integration should instead leave the union as a hole, with the option to fully join the Union at a later time.
Otherwise, Europe are at risk of consolidating various levels of citizenship permanently.