Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

EU Citizenship: One step too many?

ACELG EU Debates Series

15Oct2013 20:00 - 22:00


When the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 created European citizenship, a chorus of doubtful voices rose immediately. EU citizenship would be an empty concept, purely a symbolic act - after all, international organisations had no 'citizens'. Now, 20 years later, it turns out that EU citizenship has gone beyond pure symbolism and has gained substance by way of judgments of the European Court of Justice.

The debate

What is the substance of EU citizenship and why do many think it has gone too far? Can citizenship exist beyond the boundaries of the nation state? And what kind of citizenship would that then be? Is it more than transnational citizenship which becomes meaningful only in cross-border situations? And if it is the latter what are the consequences for the division of competences between the Union and its member states?


  • Ernst Hirsch-Ballin, Professor of Human Rights, University of Amsterdam
  • Ulrich Jessurun d'Oliveira, Professor (em.) of Migration Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Annette Schrauwen, Professor of European Integration, in particular Citizenship Law and History
  • Kathalijne Buitenweg, former Member of European Parliament


This series is organised in cooperation with Spui 25, the University of Amsterdam's gate to the city of Amsterdam.  The debates are open to the general public and held in Dutch. Please register on the website of SPUI 25.

Published by  ACELG