Key findings from an international research project led by The Open University examining European citizenship are due to be presented to European policy makers at a conference in Brussels on 27 April. Legally, all citizens of EU member states are European citizens, and the Enact project has involved researchers from Universities across and beyond the EU exploring how, in practice, the legal status of European citizenship is challenged and shaped by a range of political ‘acts of citizenship’. The findings give new insights on how people and groups who do not have that legal status are claiming and using European citizenship – from sex workers travelling across EU states to work, to minority Turkish groups presenting themselves as European citizens in order to press for rights and recognition.
Project leader, Professor Michael Saward of The Open University, said: “The formal creation of European citizenship in 1993 is often seen as a major achievement of European integration. However, it is a status that is under pressure. Access to European citizenship, and the free movement rights which lie at its core, are constrained by varied member state nationality policies and other developments.”
At the event in Brussels European Parliamentarians, NGOs and stakeholder groups will hear about key themes of the research project which include legal battles over deprivation of citizenship and challenges to European citizenship by Roma EU citizens.
The Universities involved in the research are The Open University (UK), Radboud University (The Netherlands), Central European University (Hungary), Koç University (Turkey), The Centre for European Policy Studies (Belgium) and Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia). The project is funded by the European Commission Framework Seven under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities programme.
Professor Saward is a member of the OU’s Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG).
About The Open University
• The Open University is the UK’s largest university and the world leader in distance education, and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009. It has more than 200,000 students in over 40 countries. Of these, more than 1,100 are postgraduate research students.
• The latest edition of the Open University’s Research Highlights brochure can be downloaded from: www.open.ac.uk/research/research-highlights
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