Niamh Nic Shuibhne
This chapter explores how the legal dimensions of Union citizenship are developing, more than 20 years after its genesis through the Maastricht Treaty. It first provides a brief overview of the current Treaty framework, and of its implementation through secondary law. The developing legal dimensions of citizenship are then examined in a more substantive sense. Two complementary case studies—the interpretation of Directive 2004/38 and the primary citizenship rights conferred by the Treaty—are presented in order to tease out the themes shaping the construction of citizenship law. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the deficiencies of citizenship when seen purely from the perspective of its legal development, especially when confronted with an intensifying migration debate that challenges the very fundamentals of free movement rights.
This chapter provides an account of the state of EU asylum and immigration law under the Area of Freedom Security and Justice (AFSJ). In the case of asylum, it is argued that the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) legislation suffers from incomplete or mal-implementation, resulting in vast differences in practice between the Member States in the level of protection afforded to asylum seekers, and diverse rates of recognition of refugees across the Union. With regard to immigration law, it is argued that while Member States have in general been eager to adopt legislative and operational measures in the interests of curbing irregular migration, they have shown markedly less enthusiasm for harmonization of rules on regular migration into the Union. Finally, the chapter examines the relationship between the two fields, in particular the implications of the EU’s immigration and border control regime on asylum.
The EU has often been criticized for its failure to take human rights seriously within its own borders. It has been suggested, however, that the new constitutional arrangements following the Treaty of Lisbon may have altered that position. By examining the past and current record and approach of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Commission, as two of the institutions connected to the development of human rights in the Union, the strength of commitment can be measured. There is good reason to suppose that such a review demonstrates the ambivalence, if not antipathy, towards human rights that exists at the centre of institutional practice.
EU equality law is destined to regulate and transform societal habits in the pursuit of greater equality among the people of Europe. This ambitious policy objective is matched by ancient as well as modern competences. EU equality law is thus marked by its growing personal and substantive scope, the broad definition of the key legal concepts, and a set of precise rules to ensure its efficiency. This chapter identifies analytical tools for the understanding of this complex field, torn as it is between the dynamics of an advanced fundamental rights policy and the constraints of EU law making on social matters.