Dano and Alimanovic – the end of a social European Union

Giulia Barbone, LLB King’s College London

The judgments in Dano[1] and Alimanovic[2] have become landmarks for the contemporary understanding of Union citizenship and, thus, they must be fully understood. It is also important to note from the outset that this is not a political question as to whether or not economically inactive migrants should be entitled to social benefits. Indeed, those people who applaud the judgments purely on the basis of their political preference are closing their eyes to a much more troubling question: the CJEU has dramatically changed the legal meaning of Union citizenship without a legally sound justification. This is why the problem is not about being or not being on Ms Dano’s side. These judgments are about today’s legal content of Union citizenship and, for this purpose, political preferences should be kept aside.

Continue reading

Authoritative citizenship withdrawal and foreign fighters issue

Dario Chiari, LLM (King’s College London); LLB (University of Bologna)

This post tries to show the evolution of the relationship between the concepts of “national” and “Union” citizenship in light of certain judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter CJEU or the Court). Using principles extrapolated from these rulings, this blog post will examine how certain CJEU principles can help deal with contemporaneous issues, like the question of citizens fighting for foreign terrorist organizations (e.g. the foreign fighters). In the last few years Europe has witnessed the rise of the phenomenon of nationals of Member States (hereinafter MSs) who decide to leave to join international terrorist organizations. The reaction of the States has been uneven, and some have proposed and implemented as a solution, the withdrawal of the citizenship.[1] Have the MSs a limitless power to withdraw citizenship? And if not, to which kind of criteria are they bound? Continue reading

Case Comment: C-423/12 Reyes

 

Re-posted from the Eutopia Law Blog

 

Adrienne Yong

PhD Candidate at King’s College London

 

The recent developments in EU citizenship have been admittedly fairly quiet in comparison to the uproar after the ever controversial Zambrano case where the interpretation of citizenship provisions under Article 21 TFEU went astray. In the case of Reyes, the question concerns a clarification on the Directive 2004/38 and the meaning of ‘dependant’ under Art 2(2)(c). The case concerns third country nationals (TCNs), the cases of which have dominated the scene since Zambrano. The persistence of claimants in this respect is thus admirable, suggesting that Zambrano and indeed, the Directive itself, left a lot to be desired. This persistent pattern is to be received positively, representing good opportunities to clarify confusing positions.

Facts

Ms. Reyes, a Filipina, was brought up by her grandmother in the Philippines when she was three years old after her mother left to work in Germany to support her family. Ms. Reyes’ mother is now a German citizen.

Throughout her life, Ms. Reyes never held a job but similarly never relied on the Philippines’ social benefits. Her mother periodically sent money to support her, her sisters and her grandmother. Ms. Reyes’ mother moved to Sweden to be with a Norwegian man in 2009, whom she married mid-2011. He received a retirement pension which was also sent to the Philippines for Ms. Reyes’ benefit. After moving, Ms. Reyes’ mother did not work, living on her husband’s retirement.

When Ms. Reyes entered the Schengen area early 2011, she was refused a residence permit as dependent family member by the Swedish Migrationsverket for being unable to prove the funds sent by her mother and her partner were to sustain her life in the Philippines (in the form of basic needs, lodging, healthcare) or that any home state public funds were supporting her. This was due to the fact that she was fully dependent on her grandmother and the Migrationsverket decided this indicated she was not dependent on her mother in Sweden.

The appeal by Ms. Reyes to the Migrationsverket was dismissed because whilst they agreed her basic needs were supported by her mother’s funds, there was not enough proof that she would be able to survive without dependence on her mother and partner if she were to remain in her home state. They argued that she was still young, had qualifications from there, lived there, and still had relatives there. Her mother’s choice to support her was not determinative in the decision that Ms. Reyes’ was not dependent.

The first question referred thus aims to clarify if Art 2(2)(c) Directive 2004/38 – the definition of a dependent family member – requires that those over 21 years old must prove that they had searched for employment and failed OR sought support from public funds and it was also not possible before being considered a family member. The second asks if this family member can still be considered a ‘dependant’ if they are considered to be fairly well qualified to get employment AND intends to find a job in that Member State. This would nullify the conditions under which they would be a dependent relative.

CJEU judgment

In 16 short paragraphs, the Court of Justice of the European Union makes a concise and very coherent decision on Ms. Reyes’ situation.

Seemingly considering the Opinion of AG Mengozzi, the Court referred to Jia, where the situation concerned the definition of a ‘dependant’ for over-21 year olds. The standard would be a situation of ‘real dependence’ which must be construed broadly. This is somewhat justified and explained by AG Mengozzi in that whilst the free movement of persons telos is not primarily to maintain family unity, this reasoning does not seem to have been totally ignored. It supports the broad position taken by the Court in its judgment, deciding that the situation where Ms. Reyes’ mother periodically and consistently sent money to support her daughter’s life in her home state would be one of sufficient dependence. This is, furthermore, absent of any necessity to prove they have tried to find work or seek support from public funds to support themselves. This requirement would place an extra burden on the citizen, which is against the spirit of the fundamental freedom to move and reside. The Court is clear in applying Jia that Sweden were in breach of their obligations under the Treaty.

Regarding the definition of ‘dependant’, the decision is fairly self-explanatory. To deny a citizen the status of a dependant purely on the grounds of their intention and chances to seek employment in the Member State would be against Art 23, Directive 2004/38 which expressly protects the right of family to seek employment if they have residence, Lebon also cited. Therefore, this should not interfere with its definition.

Comment

AG Mengozzi places a significant emphasis on the interpretation of Directive 2004/38 in a broad and generous manner in terms of protection of family members and the rights they should derive from it. He draws upon the teleological perspectives of the provisions, which favour the unity of a family whether all Union citizens or not. Though recognisably different conclusions have been reached by the Court in the past in regards to similar questions, it would appear that the CJEU were convinced in this case that Directive 2004/38 should not be considered narrowly for Ms. Reyes’ situation.

Certainly, the judgment is not a surprising decision. Considering the importance of the right to freely move and reside, which includes employment opportunities for family as codified by Directive 2004/38, the case represents a hammering home of the definition of a ‘dependant’. Indeed, it goes to show that Member States cannot arbitrarily try to avoid their obligations to Union citizens’ families by way of minor technicalities and additional requirements.

 

The Year of the Citizen: Moving Beyond Lip Service

Amanda Spalding

LLM student at King’s College London

 

This year has been deemed the Year of the Citizen by the European Union, thus it seems appropriate to look at what it actually means to be an EU citizen today. EU Citizenship was introduced (some would say invented) in 1992.[i] It was initially a merely symbolic concept with very few actual consequences; however the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court, the Court of Justice) has over the years significantly expanded its relevance to create a number of rights. In one early case, Grzelczyk, the Court stated “Union citizenship is destined to be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States, enabling those who find themselves in the same situation to enjoy the same treatment in law irrespective of their nationality, subject to such exceptions as are expressly provided for.[ii]  In this article I shall first briefly explore what is meant by the phrase ‘fundamental status’ and then contrast its possible meanings against some of the Courts case law.

 

The Fundamental Status Question

What is meant by making EU citizenship the ‘fundamental status’ of nationals of Member States is not expanded upon by the Court.  One could see there are two possible meanings of ‘fundamental status.’

The first is the idea that it is the most important status for citizens implying that it supersedes any national identity.  This seems to be incorrect since Article 9 of the Treaty on the European Union provides that ‘Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to and not replace national citizenship.’ The fact that citizenship is dependent on Member State nationality also discredits this definition of ‘fundamental status.’

The second possible meaning is that it is supposed to eliminate the possibility of discrimination on the basis of nationality. The idea being that once EU law is engaged the only status that matters is our EU citizenship. This is supported by the principle laid down in the case of Martinez-Sala[iii] that citizenship provisions may only be invoked where EU law is engaged; they are not applicable in purely internal situations. However the Court has certainly expanded the concept of EU citizenship in unexpected ways in order to rule on matters which seemed to be purely internal situations. The case-law on this point shall be explored below, but first it is important to discuss the case of Martinez-Sala in more detail.

 

Martinez-Sala

It is always important to discuss Martinez-Sala case when exploring the direction in which the Court of Justice is taking citizenship because it represents a big shift in the ideals underpinning the EU model.

The case concerned a Spanish mother living in Germany who was refused a child benefit because she could not produce a certain residence document.  It was not disputed that from a national perspective the decision was valid. Moreover, all the parties to the case, including the German government, acknowledged that refusing the benefit due to lack of residence document was discrimination exclusively based on her nationality. However, the German government argued that the case did not fall within the scope of Community law, because Ms. Martínez Sala could not be regarded as a worker.

Prior to the Maastricht Treaty this would have been the case, however, Ms. Martinez-Sala argued that the very fact that she was an EU citizen brought the case within the scope of EU law. And the Court of Justice accepted this argument stating that after the creation of EU citizenship, the relationship between a Member State and nationals of another Member State were governed by Community law, even if the citizen in question was economically inactive.

It is widely recognized that this case significantly extended the scope of EU law and enhanced the rights of non-economic migrants. It discarded the idea of EU citizenship as a warm fuzzy nothing which simply encompassed rights which already existed and transformed the concept into something with real meaning.  It brought all EU nationals – whether economically active or not – under the same banner of EU citizen and thus abandoned the perception that EU law concerned only ‘workers’. This was a fundamental change in the EU’s outlook, moving it away from a purely economic body to a more political being – something that unites all the people of Europe. It also represented a further limitation on Member State power in an important area of sovereignty – the relationship between a state and its residents. This limitation on sovereignty is a theme which also runs through the cases to be discussed below.

 

Chen

In Chen[iv] a pregnant Chinese national moved legally to Northern Ireland and gave birth there. Every baby born in Northern Ireland was entitled to dual Irish and British citizenship. The mother then moved to Wales where they applied for long-term residence, which was refused.

This was challenged as breaching EU law because the baby was an EU national and as such was free to move around the Union as she pleased. This was not denied but the mother was not an EU national – could she exercise her daughters free movement rights? The UK government argued that because the mother was not an EU citizen, this was a purely internal situation regarding the UKs immigration policies.

The Court of Justice thought otherwise. It reasoned that the mother was her daughter’s primary carer and financial support, and without her the baby’s citizenship rights would be meaningless. Thus the mother should be able to stay with her daughter for as long as she is her dependent. The Court of Justice met the outrage of Member States by stating that this was not an abuse of citizenship rights nor was it an infringement of Member State sovereignty because the states themselves decide how nationality is granted. This is compatible with the view of the ‘fundamental status’ of citizenship being a basis for the elimination of discrimination because it recognises that the baby’s citizenship rights cannot be stripped from her purely because of her age. The fact that the Court reiterates the point that Member States are free to set their own nationality laws reinforces the idea of the ‘fundamental status’ of citizenship as being parasitic in nature. It will only apply to people the Member States see fit to grant nationality to.

 

Rottman

However in the case of Rottman[v] the Court did impinge on Member State nationality rules on the basis of citizenship. In that case an Austrian man acquired German nationality by naturalisation and as such lost his Austrian nationality. Germany then wished to revoke his German nationality on the grounds that it was obtained fraudulently (Mr Rottman had not disclosed he was under investigation in Austria).

A preliminary ruling was sent to the Court of Justice asking whether or not the citizenship provisions meant the withdrawal of German nationality also resulted in a loss of EU citizenship. If this was the case then Mr Rottman would be rendered stateless.

Although the Court of Justice emphasised the fact that acquisition and loss of nationality are matters for the Member States, it went on to say that where a citizen of the Union is to be rendered stateless then the situation shall fall within the scope of EU law. Such a decision will be reviewable in light of EU law against the principle of proportionality. The Court then went on to specify that to be proportionate the authorities must consider and correctly balance factors such as whether this decision is justified in relation to the gravity of the offence committed, the lapse of time between the naturalisation decision and the withdrawal decision and whether it is possible for that person to recover his original nationality.

Thus the Court used EU citizenship as a way of reviewing the legitimacy of a decision to revoke the nationality of a citizen of the Union. This lends more credit to the idea of EU citizenship as superseding national citizenship. Whether or not EU law is truly engaged here depends on the relationship between EU citizenship and Member State nationality. If, as outlined above, EU citizenship is parasitic in nature, the removal of Member State nationality should not concern the Court of Justice. Once nationality is removed so is its jurisdiction. However, the idea that the Court of Justice can interfere with the removal of nationality on the basis of EU citizenship suggests that they are more intertwined than that. Citizenship therefore seems to take precedence over Member States sovereign rights to determine its nationals which point to it as a replacement national identity. The case also has nothing to do with the elimination of discrimination which seems to move EU citizenship away from that meaning.

 

Ruiz-Zambrano

The highly unusual case of Ruiz-Zambrano[vi] is the most significant indicator yet of the idea of citizenship as superseding national identity. Mr Zambrano was a Colombian national who left his country of origin and sought asylum in Belgium. His asylum application was rejected but he was not sent back to Colombia. His subsequent applications for asylum or to have his situation regularised where also refused.

Despite this, he and his wife became registered as residents of a Belgian municipality and began to work full-time. Meanwhile his wife gave birth to two children who had Belgian nationality. Mr Zambrano lost his job when the Belgian authorities gave notice to his employer that he did not have a work permit. Then he was unable to claim unemployment benefit and he challenged the refusal of the Belgian government to grant him a work permit or in any way regularise his situation.

This went to the Court of Justice. The Belgian government, along with various other intervening Member States were of the opinion that situations such as these – where the children of non-citizens of the Union have never exercised their right to free movement – does not come within the remit of EU law.

The Court once again emphasised the idea of EU citizenship as the fundamental status of nationals of Member States. It then went on to say that as such Article 20 TFEU precludes measures ‘which have the effect of depriving citizens of the Union of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights conferred by virtue of their status as citizens of the Union.[vii] It then went on to hold that the refusal to grant a work permit to the father of EU citizens who were still dependant on him had such an effect and thus was in breach of EU law.

This seems to have entirely removed the need for a cross-border link in order for citizenship provisions to be applicable. This case again has nothing to do with discrimination. Unlike in Chen, the children here have not attempted to exercise their EU citizenship rights and been discriminated against. This judgement implies that the Belgian government should have recognised that these children were first and foremostly EU citizens and that an act which deprives them of the possibility of exercising the rights bestowed by that identity will be prohibited. This seems to exemplify the idea of EU citizenship being more important than national identity. It allows the Court of Justice to interfere in areas which until now had been thought outside its reach.

 

The Future of EU Citizenship

From the above case law we can see that the prediction in Grzelczyk[viii] has had a lasting impact on the case law of the Court. The ‘fundamental status’ of citizenship was initially used to ensure equal treatment between nationals and non-nationals. It was based on the argument that we are all European, ergo we should receive the same treatment in other Member States. However, the reference to the ‘fundamental status’ in later cases such as Rottman and Ruiz-Zambrano show that it may have a different meaning. The pure status of ‘citizen’ seems to confer a package of rights and duties. These rights and duties are to be protected regardless of whether or not they have been exercised. However, recently the Court moved away from this style of judgement.

In McCarthy[ix], a woman was a national of both the UK and Ireland, however, she had never resided elsewhere. Following her marriage to a Jamaican man, she obtained an Irish passport and applied to the UK authorities for a residence permit as an Irish national wishing to reside in the UK. Her husband applied for a residence document as the spouse of an EU citizen. The UK refused the applications. The Court of Justice found that the EU Directive which allowed for the spouse of an EU citizen to reside with them in the EU did not apply here because she had never exercised her right to free movement. She had always resided in a Member State of which she was a national. So it appears that the Court has drawn a line under Ruiz-Zambrano. The cases of Rottman and Ruiz-Zambrano were exceptional with very sympathetic circumstances so they may possibly be conceived as a ‘one offs’.

The number of intervening Member States in cases such as Ruiz Zambrano (7 states) and Rottman (8 states) reveal the dissatisfaction with the way the Court has used the citizenship provisions. No doubt when the citizenship was ‘invented’ it was meant as a woolly provision, not a tool for the Court to further limit Member States’ power. The turnouts for the elections to the European Parliament with less than 50% of the population voting in 2009[x] indicates the public does not see its EU citizenship as its most important status. This is supported by a poll which found that only 18% of Europeans know their rights as EU citizens and only 41% knew what ‘citizen of the EU’ meant.[xi] Thus it seems evident that the people of Europe do not consider their most important status to be that of EU citizens. The idea of it as removal of discrimination may also be tested in the coming months. The Eurozone crisis has reignited anti-EU feeling within many Member States and reinforced divisions among its citizens. The attempts by various Member States,[xii]including the UK, to qualify the access of Romanians and Bulgarians to free movement and non-discrimination shows the solidarity of the EU may be crumbling. Such behaviour does not exactly seem to be in the spirit of the Year of the Citizen.


[i] The Maastricht Treaty amended the EEC Treaty to insert Art 8 on citizenship

[ii] Case 184/99 Grzelczyk [2001] ECR 1- 6193

[iii] Case 85/96 Martinez-Sala [1998] ECR I-269

[iv]Case 200/02 Chen  [2004]ECR I-9925

[v] Case 135/08 Rottman [2010] ECR I- 1449

[vi] Case 34/09 Ruiz-Zambrano [2011] ECR I- 1177

[vii] Case 34/09 Ruiz-Zambrano [2011] ECR I- 1177 para 42

[viii] Case 184/99 Grzelczyk [2001] ECR 1- 6193

[ix] Case 434/09 McCarthy [2011] ECR I3375

[xi] R. Bellamy ‘Evaluating Union Citizenship: Belonging, Rights and Participation within the EU’ 12( 6) Citizenship Studies 2008

Effective judicial protection in the European Year of Citizens 2013

Mehmed Yuseinov

LLB Law and European Studies graduate from the University of Portsmouth

 

In its practice exceeding more than fifty years, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has developed several seminal legal principles with an aim to ensure a uniform and consistent application of the EU Treaties.[i] Guaranteeing smooth interpretation and application of EU law is not only an aspiration, but also the CJEU’s duty established under Article 19 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).[ii] This article seeks to provide a general overview of the principle of effective judicial protection. It aims to outline the role of the EU and national bodies which can advise on EU citizens’ rights in cases of misapplication of Union law. Further, the article will appraise how the seminal principles developed by the CJEU enabled individuals to obtain remedies in their national courts.

Effective judicial protection can be interpreted in a three-stage process. The first stage concentrates on the question if the EU citizens are aware of their rights. The second stage is defined with the concept of access to justice. The final stage is focused on the effective co-operation between the national courts of the Member States and the CJEU and enforcement of the decisions of the national courts.

I.             Awareness of the protection of EU citizens’ rights

Protecting the rights of EU citizens and ensuring that the objectives of the concept of European citizenship are observed is a necessity. Although the 1957 EEC Treaty[iii] was silent on the protection of fundamental rights and European citizenship, from the 1970s onwards many initiatives have been put forward in order to establish a “Europe for Citizens”.[iv]

In the current Treaty framework, European citizenship and its objectives are defined in Art.20 TFEU[v] which identifies and accentuates the advantages of being an EU citizen. European citizenship provides us with many benefits: the rights to move, work and reside within the Union; right to study in another Member State; the right to vote in the European Parliament elections in the country where you reside and the right to receive protection from another EU Member State in the country you are visiting if your country of origin is not represented.[vi]

In 1975, Belgian Prime Minister Tindemans clearly enunciated that ‘[n]o one wants to see a technocratic Europe. European Union must be experienced by the citizen in his daily life.’[vii] Thus, if the EU seeks to fulfil its aspiration to create ‘an ever closer Union among the peoples of Europe’, it needs to place the citizen at the heart of its decision making.

The 2010 Eurobarometer survey[viii] revealed that the majority of the EU citizens were unaware of their rights granted by the EU.[ix] The purpose of the European Citizenship Report 2010[x] was to identify the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights and suggest practical solutions in order to overcome the problems that EU citizens might encounter. The outcome of the consultations was the launch of a website called ‘Your Europe’.  The web page provides practical information about Union citizens’ rights and about national rules and procedures from which the Union citizens can benefit. Another proposal in line with the European Year of Citizens 2013 includes the organisation and promotion of events on EU citizenship and citizens-related policies which will potentially increase the civic involvement and thus strengthen citizens’ awareness of their EU citizenship status.

II.           Access to justice: the role of EU and national bodies

Once EU citizens are aware of their rights, the second fundamental point which needs to be considered is which institutions or bodies can advise EU citizens on their rights? As the 2012 Eurobarometer survey[xi] revealed, the EU citizens need more information about where to turn in cases of violation of their EU rights.

On 6 December 2012, the Fundamental Rights conference was held in Brussels. The topic of the conference was access to justice and the speakers stressed that it is a fundamental matter as it not only ensures the democratic governance within the EU, but also ‘gives practical effect to the foundation stone of the rule of law on which the Union is built’.[xii]

Commissioner Reding in her speech in this conference[xiii] acknowledged that 21% of the EU citizens will turn to their national courts in cases of violation of their Charter rights and 20% will bring their case before the Ombudsman. What is surprising is that EU citizens are still unaware of the role of EU bodies such as SOLVIT or Europe Direct. This suggests that citizens require additional information about the role of EU bodies that can provide legal advice and aid. This can be achieved through co-operation with national media. The roles of national media are not only to inform us about the debates in our nation states, but also to educate us. The launch of a successful partnership with national media of the Member States could have huge benefits. The most valuable contribution would be that the EU could reduce the mistrust between itself and the EU citizens. Once citizens have an objective opinion about the benefits of EU membership then there will be also a decrease in the eurosceptic attitudes in the Member States.

III.         National courts of the Member States and the CJEU and effective enforcement of the national courts’ decisions

As noted earlier, the national courts seems to be the first place where the EU citizens will turn if they encounter misapplication of Union law. Thus, in theory if effective judicial protection exists in the EU, it can also be described as a result of an effective relationship between the CJEU and the national courts of the Member States. This relationship should be based on sincere co-operation and mutual respect as demonstrated by Art.4(3) TEU.[xiv] Maintaining effective relationship between the national courts and the CJEU is vital as in procedural terms individuals do not have the right to appeal to the CJEU. It is the national courts or tribunals of the Member States which have the discretion under Art.267 TFEU[xv] to decide whether or not to refer questions to the CJEU.

For example, the wording of paragraph 2 of Art.267 TFEU states that national courts, which are not the last instance in certain case, ‘may’ refer the question related to interpretation of EU law to the CJEU. This demonstrates that it is solely for the national courts to decide whether or not refer questions to the CJEU. This position is reaffirmed if the Court’s reasoning in CILFIT is taken into account where the Court stated that ‘in all circumstances national courts and tribunals (…) remain entirely at liberty to bring a matter before the Court of Justice if they consider it appropriate to do so’.[xvi] The national courts are enabled to use their discretionary powers not to refer to the CJEU if such question of law was irrelevant or was previously interpreted or when the doctrine of acte clair applies.

Entrusting the national courts of the Member States with such powers is an indication of a mature relationship between the national courts and CJEU. The potential positive outcome of such relationship means that straightforward cases are decided at national level by the national courts and the CJEU has more time to resolve more problematic cases. [xvii]

However, Article 267 TFEU makes a clear distinction between discretionary and mandatory references. For example, the Lyckeskog [xviii] judgment of the CJEU underlined that if a question concerning the interpretation of Union law arose before a court of last resort, it would be under an obligation to request a preliminary ruling in accordance with Art.267 TFEU, either when analysing admissibility or at a later stage. This position was reiterated in the Köbler[xix] case where the CJEU held that non-compliance by a top national court with its obligations under Art.267(3) might render the state in which it is situated liable in damages to an individual who was in that way deprived of his rights under EU law.

One should note, that the relationship between the CJEU and the national court in proceedings under Art.267 TFEU is co-operative rather than hierarchical in nature. Both courts have distinct but complementary roles to play in finding a solution to the case which is to be solved in accordance with EU law. A reference to the CJEU is not an appeal against the decision of the national court. The CJEU does not rule on the application of the law to the facts or the compatibility of national law with the requirements of EU law. These are matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the national court.

It is also the national courts of the Member States which will award remedies to individuals. Nevertheless, from the early 1990s onwards the Court has requested adequacy and effectiveness in the award of remedies in the domestic enforcement of Union law. As De Burca notes, national courts are required to undertake a case-by-case review of the national rules and disapply any restrictive national provisions whenever necessary in order to award adequate and effective remedies in the spirit of EU law. [xx] This is primarily because national remedies must secure the effectiveness of EU rights.[xxi]

IV.         Conclusion

Effective judicial protection is a fundamental right of EU citizens and, as a result, EU citizens must be aware of their fundamental rights so that they can understand in practice the benefits of their EU citizenship status. Thus it is suggested that the efforts of the EU in the European Year of Citizens 2013 should be primarily focused on educating and informing citizens about their rights and providing information about EU legal advice and aid centres. These are the two fundamental points which will ensure that effective judicial protection finds its place not only in theory, but also in practice.


[i] Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and  the  Treaty on the Functioning  of the European Union  [2010]  OJ  C 83/1.

[ii] Consolidated version of  the  Treaty  on European Union [2010]  OJ  C 83/1.

[iii] Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, March 25, 1957, 298 U.N.T.S. 11.

[iv] Tindemans, Leo, ‘ European Union. Report by Mr. Leo Tindemans, Prime Minister of Belgium, to the European Council. Bulletin of the European Communities, Supplement 1/76.’ (1975)  http://aei.pitt.edu/942/1/political_tindemans_report.pdf accessed 10 January 2013.

[v] Consolidated version of  the  Treaty  on the Functioning of the European Union [2010]  OJ  C 83/1.

[vi] Consolidated version of  the  Treaty  on the Functioning of the European Union [2010]  OJ  C 83/1.

[vii] Tindemans, Leo, ‘ European Union. Report by Mr. Leo Tindemans, Prime Minister of Belgium, to the European Council. Bulletin of the European Communities, Supplement 1/76.’ (1975), page 12 http://aei.pitt.edu/942/1/political_tindemans_report.pdf accessed 10 January 2013

[viii] European Commission, ‘Flash Eurobarometer: European Union Citizenship Analytical report’ (2010) http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_294_en.pdf accessed 10 January 2013.

[ix] Although the majority (79%) of EU citizens claim familiarity with the term “citizen of the European Union”, only 43% say they know its meaning and  less than one-third (32%) of respondents from the 27 EU countries consider  themselves well informed about their rights as citizens of the European Union.

[x] European Commission, ‘the European Citizenship Report 2010’ (2010) http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/reding/factsheets/pdf/citizenship_report_en.pdf accessed 10 January 2013.

[xi] European Commission, ‘Speech – A European Union grounded in justice and fundamental rights’ (speech, 6 December 2012)  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-12-918_en.htm?locale=en  accessed 16 December 2012.

[xii] European Commission, ‘Speech – A European Union grounded in justice and fundamental rights’ (speech, 6 December 2012)  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-12-918_en.htm?locale=en accessed 16 December 2012.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union [2010] OJ C83/01.

[xv] Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union [2010] OJ C83/01;

[xvi]Case 283/81  Srl CILFIT and Lanificio di Gavardo spA v Ministry of Health [1982] ECR 341, para. 15.

[xvii] P Craig and G De Burca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed., OUP 2008) 478-479; T Tridimas, ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Fragmentation, Efficiency and Defiance in the Preliminary Reference Procedure’ (2003) 40(1) CMLR 9, 12.

[xviii] Case C-99/00 Criminal Proceedings against Lyckeskog [2002] ECR I-1327.

[xix] Case C-224/01 Gerhard Köbler v Republik Österreich [2003] ECR I-10239

[xx] P Craig and G De Burca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed., OUP 2008) 306.

[xxi] P Craig and G De Burca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed., OUP 2008) 312.