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GLOBALCIT at the State of the Union, 4-5 May 2017

The GLOBALCIT team took part at the State of the Union conference, organised by the European University Institute (EUI). The State of the Union is an annual event for high-level reflection on the European Union (EU), and this year’s event revolved around the theme of European Citizenship, a multi-faceted topic of acute relevance across all EU member states.

On 4 May, two GLOBALCIT co-directors (Rainer Bauböck  and Maarten Vink) and co-ordinator (Jelena Dzankic) discussed the changing nature of the notion of genuine links and the instrumentalisation of passports. The panel examinedwhether states and individuals regard citizenship as a mere tool rather than as a value in itself: the proliferation of multiple nationalities; citizenship programmes for non-resident investors; worldwide access to EU passports for those with the ‘right ancestry’; and stripping terrorist suspects of their citizenship in order to ‘dump’ them on other countries. In doing so, the speakers explored whether citizenship is bound to decline in the 21st century.

On 5 May, Rainer Bauböck gave the State of the Union Address entitled “Still United in Diversity?”. In his speech, Bauböck  reflected on the balance between rights and duties of European citizenship, and noted that ‘[m]aintaining unity in spite of such deep diversity cannot be achieved through a citizenship that has so little weight that it can be easily carried across borders, but that has so little substance that those who stay put do not feel it”. He added that “[i]n order to keep an internally differentiated Union united, European citizenship needs to be enriched with a social dimension and substantive duties.”

Furthermore, Jo Shaw (GLOBALCIT co-director) spoke in the afternoon panel on 5 May. In the panel entitled “EU Citizens' Rights: a Priority for the Negotiations with the UK”, Shaw highlighted the importance of rights in the cases of state disintegrations. She emphasised that, if the process of the UK’s exit from the European Union is not adequately managed, it could lead to the greatest deprivation of individual rights after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.


The video of the panel “Genuine Links and Useful Passports: A Decline of Citizenship?”, 4 May 2017, is available here.

The video of Rainer Bauböck’s State of the Union Address ‘Still United in Diversity?’, 5 May 2017, is available here, and the text version here.

The video of the “EU Citizens' Rights: a Priority for the Negotiations with the UK” panel and Jo Shaw’s contribution is available here.