In this lecture Dora Kostakopoulou argues that European unification has transformed Westphalian states obsessed with ‘power politics’. European Union citizenship ('Eurozenship') has made former enemies into associates and co-citizens and has enhanced the living standards of European societies, as well as the life options of Europeans.
This has changed people’s understanding of what politics can do and who the ‘co-citizens’ are. States and their bureaucracies have had to adjust to the new context within which they have to operate.
This transformation is now met with resistance from nationalist forces and right-wing political parties in Europe. Nationalistic populism on both the right and the left of the political spectrum poses threats to the European Union edifice. It praises the existence of ‘hard’ or ‘harder’ borders in an attempt to stem (increasing) human mobility, narrows political cooperation and hardens human relations.
Refusing to believe that political constraints outweigh political possibilities in the present historical conjuncture, Dora Kostakopoulou argues that the time is ripe for the disentanglement of Eurozenship from Member State nationality.
Dora Kostakopoulou is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU and Professor of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at Warwick University. Formerly, she was Jean Monnet Professor in European Law and European Integration and Co-director of the Institute of Law, Economy and Global Governance at the University of Manchester where she spent 12 years (until 2011). Her research projects have been funded by the European Commission, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, NORFACE, UACES and the Modern Law Review.