GLOSSARY

European citizenship definition

Published by a LexisNexis EU Law expert

What does European citizenship mean?

European citizenship is a legal status, which is held by the nationals of the EU Member State, granting certain autonomous rights to the holders.

The status of European citizenship was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty. European citizenship derives from national citizenship of the member states, in the sense that it can only be obtained by virtue of being a member state national. There is no common procedure or policy on the acquisition of European citizenship. European citizenship does not replace national citizenship, the status of European citizenship is rather an additional legal status. European citizenship entitles EU citizens, under certain conditions, to movement and residence, but also to political and social rights. There are also derivative rights to certain third country nationals flowing from the status of European citizenship which are amplified by Directive 2004/38 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states.


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