EU flag_2

The question of citizenship, nationality and identity is in the news constantly these days, from the recent tensions between Eastern and Western Ukraine to the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence. In this regard, one interesting development we haven’t discussed yet is the decision of Malta to start selling passports to foreign nationals. For the modest sum of 650,000 euros, it is now possible to obtain EU citizenship without ever being required to live in Malta (though applicants are required to invest in Maltese property and buy government bonds).

By flogging passports on the open market, the Maltese government hopes to bring in an extra 30 million euros in the first year alone. Interestingly, Malta is not the first country to grant citizenship to non-EU citizens: Austria, Cyprus, Belgium and Portugal already hand out passports in exchange for investment in the country. However, Malta is the first country to put a price tag on an EU passport. If citizenship can be sold, does that undermine the value of the culture, traditions and history of a country? Does it undermine the idea of ‘European citizenship’? Or is it an entirely sensible way to encourage investment in Europe?

The granting of citizenship is currently a national competence, meaning the EU cannot force Malta to stop selling passports. However, Members of the European Parliament have strongly objected to Malta’s decision, arguing that EU citizenship should not be for sale. Last month, 89% of the Members of the European Parliament even voted in favor of a resolution limiting the sale of EU citizenship. Among the 4% of members who voted against were  Social Democrats, Eurosceptics, and independents. Most of the  Conservatives abstained from voting.

In our debate “Do you feel part of a common European identity?”, one of our readers, Matteo, wrote that citizenship should only be given to those who share the values, language and tradition of a country. To get a reaction, we put this comment to Roberta Metsola, a Maltese MEP who sits with the  Centre-Right. How would she respond?

Roberta-MetsolaCitizenship is something that should only be afforded to those who have formed a genuine link or bond with a Member State. The outright sale of citizenship, with no bond to a country, runs contrary to European values and should not be happening. One does not necessarily have to speak the language, but there must be a genuine link that shows a bond with that country.

We put the same comment to Jan Mulder, a Dutch MEP who sits with the  Liberal Democrats, for his opinion. Does he agree with Matteo?

Finally, we put Matteo’s comment to Indrek Tarand, a  Greens MEP from Estonia. The question of citizenship and language is a thorny one in Estonia, where one in four of the population are ethnically Russian. The perceived difficulty of Estonian language tests for citizenship and the question of whether Russian-language schools should be allowed are still controversial. How would Tarand respond to Matteo, and what could the Estonian example teach Europe as a whole?

What do YOU think? Should Malta be allowed to sell EU passports? Or does this undermine the idea of European citizenship? What does citizenship mean? Should it be based on shared language, traditions and culture? What about in countries like Estonia, where there are significant linguistic minorities? Share your thoughts, questions and ideas in our comment section below and we take them to policy makers for their reaction!

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – EU Info centar

71 comments Post a commentcomment

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      I take it you aren’t a EU citizen?

    • avatar

      I agree it means nothing ,UK ,it is nothing but a tax burden,an imposter of rules ,it exists to serve those who administer it,the sooner it breaks up the better ,it only creates division,

    • avatar

      I agree,Less than nothing

  1. avatar
    Adrian Arsene

    By experience, EU citizenship means shit to me. It would have been something if i was born German or French but that was not the case, hence, discrimination all the way.

  2. avatar
    Quiterio Alberto Báez Benítez

    Frontiers, nations, citizenships, have been all changing across the whole continent for centuries. What we call now citizen, humbly, thats the key of healthy and reasoneable politics, the time to reach a sure wealthfare state and the righteus moment to face the decreasing of birth, are both affordable for the first time in history too. Its not a problem of different perspectives between social-democracy and liberal ideology, it a question, for the first time of honesty of rulers. (Muchas Gracias!)

  3. avatar
    Gediminas Bau Glumanas

    Same salary standards in whole EU, same pension and social insurance standards in whole EU, same legislation in whole EU. All nations will be happy! Only native nazi can make the problems about nothing.

  4. avatar

    I believe it is ok to sell citizenships, as long as 30 to 50 % of the money go for helping refugees and other immigrant social problems and crises around the Union. Because if we let someone to live in our countries, only because he is rich and do not let people which are poor, this is discrimination. So if someone pay for citizenship, with those money, we should help people, who does not have the same chance.

  5. avatar
    William Gandemer

    In a nutshell, EU citizenship, in my opinion, means belonging to a broader entity that fosters good relations between member States, promotes national/local culture (not ‘European culture’, it doesn’t exist), and lays the foundation (and JUST the foundation) for economic and social development. I would like to see all of this happen in a spirit of respect towards the individuality and uniqueness of the EU’s States and cultures, and in service – as much as possible – to their national interests until time and true popular will (Renan) naturally lead Europeans to want to deepen integration. I feel integration has been extensively forced upon Europeans since Maastricht perhaps too much for economic purposes, which explains the current dissent and Eurosceptism. One piece of advice: Give Europe time. For the time being, a great majority of Europeans do not actually want to be assimilated into a giant ‘European culture’, such a thing is still an elite concept of integration and it must stop, take full consideration of Europe’s true history, and respect the natural course of generational adaptation. Until then, I fully welcome the EU as an entity from which I have personally benefited and can only hope will succeed in adopting a more moderate stance and heal its democratic deficit (it’s about time we realize that multiple levels of governance do nothing more than confuse and irritate people, and the majority of my acquaintances understand nothing of the EU and thus perceive it as a threat. On my part, I believe I understand the EU only because I have a Master’s degree in European studies, otherwise I would be as lost as the rest. Good luck EU!

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      Yes, multiple levels of governance do nothing more than confuse and irritate people. We do not need the member states in their current forms. We have the EU as a whole, federal entity and need our regional and local governance, thus regions and cities/counties. This would truly mean being united in diversity and save a lot of trouble and money.

  6. avatar

    I think that EU citizenship shouldn’t be sold to everybody. Europe is a mix of languages and cultures (but in this sense I think that we should reach English language as common language knows from every one). We have to create a base for a new policy union, that now there isn’t. In this view like Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands do not sell their passport, all the European countries shouldn’t do this.

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      Why does this common language have to be English? Just throwing this in there but wouldn’t it be more accepted if it were a language that would be equally important to our common heritage and not giving certain speakers an advantage. Like say Latin.

  7. avatar
    William Gandemer

    In a nutshell, EU citizenship, in my opinion, means belonging to a broader entity that fosters good relations between member States, promotes national/local culture (not ‘European culture’, it doesn’t exist), and lays the foundation (and JUST the foundation) for economic and social development. I would like to see all of this happen in a spirit of respect towards the individuality and uniqueness of the EU’s States and cultures, and in service – as much as possible – to their national interests until time and true popular will (Renan) naturally lead Europeans to want to deepen integration. I feel integration has been extensively forced upon Europeans since Maastricht, perhaps motivated more than it should have by economic development, which explains current distrust and rising levels of Eurosceptism, all the more so that decisions are being made that conflict with local transitions, be they political, cultural, etc. The example of selling EU citizenship in Malta is appalling in that sense! It means that States would have much less say in who can enter their territory, a huge blow to national sovereignty that cannot be thrown to the wind in the space of a generation – no offense to the EU.

    A piece of humble advice to the EU: Give Europe time. For the time being, a great majority of Europeans do not want to be assimilated into a giant ‘European culture or State’, such a thing is still an elite concept of integration, goes against the TRUE culture of Europe (we enriched our cultures based on differentiation), and it must stop, take full consideration of Europe’s true history, and respect the natural course of generational adaptation. Until then, I fully welcome the EU as an entity from which I have personally benefited and can only hope will succeed in adopting a more moderate stance, and heal its democratic deficit (it’s about time we realize that multiple levels of governance do nothing more than confuse and irritate people, and the majority of my acquaintances understand nothing of the EU and thus perceive it as a threat. On my part, I believe I understand the EU well enough only because I have a Master’s degree in European studies, otherwise I would be as lost as the rest. Good luck EU!

    • avatar

      If only it were that simple , but you made me smile today , thank you .

  8. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    commodify everything in Europe eh? even our nationality and citizenship.. do you seriously thing that people will let you get away with it? using the lure of a EU passport in exchange for money and investments!! seriously? citizenship and nationality are things that people identify themselves with, either they are native nationals or naturalized.. you can not just buy them, you either get them by birth or you acquire them by the naturalization process, after you lived for a certain amount of time in a country, worked, paid taxes and have integrated yourself in the society.. how low can us westerners get? what will we find to sell next….well there isn’t much more to sell isn’t it.. our governments are already sold to the banks and markets.. all its left is our nationality and be done with nations in Europe.. For me, though I believe in living in a Europe of open borders and a globalized world, my citizenship and especially my nationality is something I am proud of and what I want to bring always with me when I talk, travel, work or live anywhere in Europe.. I believe in a Europe of nations, unlike the ultra-liberals that want a Europe without them, people with no identities and ethnicity.. For me the best way to integrate European nations, is not by destroying or erasing our national heritage and culture, but on the contrary empowering by sharing it with all other nations, by constant cultural exchanges.. It is culture and common heritage that binds people together, not a common currency or a single market.. put it well into your minds!! start making Europe a cultural project too, by establishing events and places of constant cultural exchanges and promote our national and European heritage.. Stop the nonsense otherwise consider the European project dead!

  9. avatar
    Virag Martin

    Watch a few videos on people’s views on Europe.

    Thinking of our project, we would be interested to know how to make EU citizenship more inclusive. What can the European Parliament do to seem more democratic? Can civil society help exercise EU rights? Why people feel so distant from the EU? What about national governments’ responsibilities? Why can we not feel European and Italian/Polish/French/Finnish etc at the same time?

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      Passports should be issued by the federal government in Brussels, not by the individual states. That would make it nearly impossible to buy citizenship as it would need approval by the parliament and the states. Do people feel distant from the EU?

  10. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    If the European citizenship is still a process in building you want already undermine it, selling it for the highest bidders?

  11. avatar

    This question is not exactly the right question. What is a European nation in the EU. The way forward for the EU is by reducing the importance of nationalistic point of view, by making people and first the press understand that heads of state, and notably of Germany, England and France, are not together the head of Europe. Europe has a parliament of its own. Nations are important, don’t get me wrong, but they have been built by history, and today, history builds Europe, as a nation. It will take time but I am looking forward to owning my first european passport without mention of a specific european country on it.

    We are, in European, citizen of different democracies. Our national identity is built around cultures but united by our diverse democratic systems. Representing a culture is the trait of a personal and regional identity. Understanding the political systems, that of nations and that of the EU, and participating to it with our votes, is the key to national and european identities.

    Today, I feel that people forgot or do not really understand what unites them. It is not their language, it is not their culture, it is not their food, it is not their mentality, IT IS that they participate to a democracy, their join a system (of education, of defense, of taxes, of infrastructure,..), they acknowledge a number of rules and laws that makes their life better or at least aims at making it better.

    So, to conclude, I think that the EU should really put an effort on educating the european citizen on how the EU really works, what the EU really do for them in practice, how the EU helps their own government to be more flexible, how the EU promotes peace for them within the EU and without.
    And that the national head of state should recognize the EU as an beneficial overruling democratic authority and should stop fighting about which country actually leads europe, as their is none and will never be (hopefully WWII won’t repeat itself)

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      Well said!

  12. avatar
    Catalin Vasile

    For me it means nothing for E.U. does not give a damn about people it is only a bunch of politicians who loves to keep talking but no doing nor fighting! And recently E.U. beacame more like U.E.S.S.R.! Since when Democracy means to put the fist in 7.500.000 mouths of the citizens who chose to depose a corrupt president? This is E.U. a new Soviet Union or the 4 th Reich!

  13. avatar
    Alpay Kocmar

    EU citizenship is nothing to me.But I would like to be something.I am living in Turkey and Turkey is negotiating EU for membership.Our country waited long (over 50 years) years for membership and seems to wait more 50 years.As a Turkish citizen I am realy not interested in EU membership I have not got any hope for this.But there are something that realy disturb me;

    For example I want to visit some European cities for a touristic purpose.I should take visa from this countries embasy in İstanbul and I should prepare below documents (I am not joking )

    -200 EUR for every person
    -My titledeeds,My wife’s titledeeds
    -My car’s permit
    -My accounts statements
    -My deposit account statements
    -My sons students documents
    -Some documents from my Company
    -National Insurance Documents
    -Salary Documents (Minimum 3 mounts)
    -Company Registration Documents
    -Company signature documents
    -Visa application forms
    -Photos (must be new)
    -A call at visa center

    And when I prepared these documents Probably I will take for 6 mounts Schengen visa for one week ıtaly;France vs visiting.I am working for an International Bank and working as a branch manager.I do not have any idea to stay in Europe forever because I have a good job,revenue and life in Turkey.

    As I told I am not interested in EU Citizenship but these visa proses is terrible.Finally I decided not to go any EU countries for touristic purposes I will spend my Holidays Tayland or similar countries no needs visa.

    I think EU citizenship is only necessary for freely travelling.

    • avatar

      Someone above think European culture does not exist because there are a lot of differences among European countries, but you can find a lot of things Europeans have built ensemble through history (even with wars of course). You can find those things more easily if you compare Europe with eastern Asia, or central Asia, North Africa, Central and South Africa, South and Central America, etc… I mean any broad set of countries that have shared a territory and a common history.

      Through history any great event occurring in a European country has affected in some way to its neighborhoods, and this is the way we have built the European identity, with commerce, wars, migrations, sharing innovations in arts and technologies. This is what European citizenship mean to me, though EU citizenship has to evolve a lot to mean something relevant.

      EU has done a lot for underdeveloped countries in Europe, imposing restrictions and taking away some power tools from the hands of corrupt national governments (irresponsible currency/debt manipulation in the past in Spain hurting families earnings), and bringing democracy to Spain where we have received a lot of grants BUT those grants were and still are feeding the role of local chieftains, maintaining a feudalism mentality and an unfair market game, so there is a huge opportunity cost we have paid for this misuse. “Why should I be grateful if I am going to emigrate due to the empowerment of local chieftains on last decade?”

      Though there are national autonomy that EU is bonded to respect, I would like to see a EU capable of taking direct and explicit measures against corruption at state and regional level to protect citizens and help us to change this toxic dynamic that has a lot of “innertia”.

  14. avatar
    Rolando Van Velden

    citizenship means engaging in issues, for instance being against the TTIP the treaty between the US and the EU, that will serve the interests of companies more than its citizens….

  15. avatar

    I wasn’t asked if I wanted it and I reject it .
    I am a citizen of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and N Ireland

    As far as anyone selling passports is concerned ,, If the EU allow this then we have to stop freedom of movement . How is it fair that for example Malta sells citizenship to someone who then goes and lives in another country ? Maybe we would just be better off out of it all together ..

  16. avatar
    Jorge Herrera Santana

    I’m not sure we can even speak about “European citizenship” as such. Europe’s ties owe more to interest and fear than to identity and hope.

  17. avatar

    “What does EU citizenship mean to YOU?”
    Not much anymore, because the EU has turned out to be mainly a programme for minorities and foreigners for whom the majority is obviously supposed to provide the resources and otherwise remain silent.

  18. avatar
    Arjan Tupan

    To me, it would mean that we as Europeans have grown up. I would gladly be among the first to get an EU passport, if it came into being. But then I interpret European citizenship as a supra-national type of citizenship, and not the citizenship of one country. A true EU citizenship would be a great addition and an acknowledgement of the culture(s) I feel part of.
    As to the question as it is posed here, I don’t think it’s good that citizenship of a member state can be bought. But, then again, I fully agree with Ms Metsola when she says: “One does not necessarily have to speak the language, but there must be a genuine link that shows a bond with that country.” The core question here is how one defines that genuine link. Investing in a country to the extent of 650.000 Euro and owning (and living in) a home in that country can in a way be seen as having established a genuine link. Especially if that investment comes with creating jobs, or contributing in another positive way to Europe.
    I think the right question for this debate could be reframed as ‘what constitutes having a genuine link with a member-state or the whole EU to such an extent that citizenship can be granted?’ For me, the answer lies in shared values (human rights as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are the most important for me) and contribution to the community.
    The answer of Mr Mulder, by the way, is quite silly. The Dutch have a citizenship test for those who want to become Dutch. As a Dutch person, and many other Dutch agree with me, I don’t recognise my version of Dutch culture in the test which is designed to determine whether someone knows enough about Dutch culture to become a citizen. In fact, the test depicts a charicature of Dutch culture as the Dutch joke it was in the 1950s.

  19. avatar
    João Frazão

    I think that, firstly, we should draw a clear line between what’s the citizenship and one’s national identity, as these are extremely different and it’s a common mistake to join both in the same bag, which obviouslty leads to misconceptions, specially concerning emigration issues.
    Not that I agree that citizenship can be sold, given its non economic value compound. However, in extraordinary cases, as such as the ones earlier referred (refugees or the non establishment of prices, but instead the commitment to invest in the country), I believe we can reach an agreement. Plus, we have to check out our economic interests. I mean, it’s not a new for anyone the ageing problems regarding Europe population and how, in the futur, it can asfixiates our economy. Hence, adopting this approach, a limited and regulated immigration stimulus can reveals itself a benefit in the long term.
    When regarding the so called european identity, we have to understand that the self identification with one’s group is complex, putting on evidence multi levels of inclusion, such as local, national, continental and, to some extent, even global. In fact, I can recognise in myself (I’m portuguese) those diverse social constructions, the first derived from experience and language, the former genetically originated by the globalization. When talking about european identity, it’s a much more troubled phenomena that requires eminently historical concepts, such as the Renaissance, Iluminism, Christianty and, ultimately, Industrial Revolution. Our coexistence, even tough in a warfare chart, trough centuries made us understand that we do not live alone, impulsionated by power balances between states or scientific cooperation.
    The truth is: in Europe, the major part of population knows how to keep track on a foreign language conversation. Almost everyone knows how to speak English (specially the younger generation) and French/Spanish/Deutsch. Almost all of my friends have travelled to Spain, France, Italy. We all have friends from a foreigner UE member and I know a considerable portion of people who went to study abroad. And don’t even put me speaking about festivals, Erasmus, interrails, etc, etc. That is even documented: later, there is a considerable emergence of social sciences researchs studying the nowadays approach between european citizens, who speak english or french between them, live in major capital cities and is pretty liberal regarding almost everything (such as religion, sexual orientation or race). Summed up, united in diversity: that’s our main identity.
    I can fully understand the older generation when referring to Spaniards as those stupid neighbours or to Frenchmen as arrogant and cocky. But one thing I’m pretty sure: the Euro, the english learning and the UE has changed a lot in the psychopolitics of our generation. At least mine has changed. And from what I’ve seen of many of my acquaitances it’s the same.

  20. avatar

    Eu citizenship means nothing to me. As we speak I find that this whole citizenship is a waste of time. As we are supposed to be an union, yet we are far from it. Want me to feel European? Then start doing something for the people living in Europe, next to asking money from them.

    • avatar

      Halbarz dead right,the EU is a money pit,we the tax payers pay in ,and in exchange we are told what to do,The EU should be allowed to die.

  21. avatar
    catherine benning

    This is not easy to describe, but I will try by taking a tip from that genius born in Salzburg, for me, the centre of my kind of Europe. Take his remarkable Le Nozze di Figaro which sums up what it means to be European in its very heart. It begins with two voices, another joins in, then on to another until two becomes seven people with conflicting ideas, each talking at each other in loud but perfect harmony. This opening is an ideal expression for European oneness. Yes, we need to rehearse a great deal, but we know instinctively we are one blood and I, in the centre as if a prima donna carrying that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ of mystery needed to identify the wonder of Europa…… Too flowery? Perhaps, but you asked the question of me.

    The European project needs serious alteration at its core before I can be utterly convinced I’m no longer a lonely Brit but a full blown European with a surrounding family of voices, all marching in the same direction as it advances every citizen within it as well as its unique and exceptional culture.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Mihail Malta is selling its passports for 650 thousand euros each.. How many Africans and Middle Eastern people can afford that? They want to attract foreign investment by giving nationality to rich people from other regions.. That is immoral of course but that doesn’t meam that flood gates of immigrants will follow!!

  22. avatar
    catherine benning

    As far as selling citizenship or passports for assuming membership or naturalisation as a European, are you crazy? Malta should be deported. How can it even be contemplated that we are so cheap as a people and a continent that our essence can be sold to make, what was it, 30m Euro for that small in size and mind country called Malta. So little and so insulting to every one of us, on every level.

    How could anyone born after this be able to commit themselves to the oneness we are as a people, if we can be bought, like prostitutes, on a street corner. The insult could only be leveled by those who despise Europe as a union of common minds and culture.

  23. avatar
    Carlos V Arc

    Europe is too plural and diverse, within countries whose people, culture, habits, history, etc… have really nothing in common with others (ex: UK & Romania, or Latvia & Spain, etc… so forcing to create a new EU identity from artificial basements is wrong and dangerous, even more if in some parts of it it’s usual to earn earn 3200 ? and in others 250 ?

  24. avatar
    João De Lalanda Frazão

    I don’t know if it’s just some ilusion or utopic way of thinking by me, but I find that is in the difference criticized by you that lies the core of the european identity. After all, “united in diversity”, right? Not that I want to erase borders and depreciate nationalities. I just think that there’s a hugh difference between one’s nationality (as mine is Portuguese) and one’s citizenship (as mines is both Portuguese and European). In fact, a multi level world w/ multiple kinds of citizenship seems a very foreseeable future in the long term.
    Plus, maybe it’s a generation issue. I was born in 1995, a time when most of you already were grown up. For me, the euro was, in practic, the only currency I’ve ever used. Getting in conversations in foreign languages is not that rare. Almost all of my friends speaks at least english and another european language. With Erasmus, interrail and Ryanair strechting trough Europe became easier than ever (I mean, I take less time to travel to London than to go to Algarve, got it?). What I’m trying to say is that this desired cosmopolite and multicultural is already emerging, being documented in social sciences reports, describing groups of people originary from all over Europe, who lived in major cities, and speak between them often in a foreign language. The original Euro dream is not so long of being achieved, altough it might have been slowed down with the euro crisis turning everyone against everyone and, ultimately, Brussels.
    Don’t deny an european identity when that’s precisely the most quoted argument so Turkey doesn’t get in. And that’s when we need to do some research history to see that, maybe after all, our people are not that different and this supranational identity is well rooted long ago. Both Renaissance and Christianty are undeniable marks of what Europe and, pushing from here, it’s a load of stuff.
    I speak for me. I’m an European.

    • avatar

      Here in the Netherlands the only age group that voted ‘yes’ in the referendum was the 65+ category. The under 30-s were 3-1 against. So yes maybe it is an age issue. A federal Europe is a pipe dream held by elderly people and a handful of self-absorbed ‘progressives’ who produce reports only read within their own group and usually out of touch with reality.

      For my country, the Euro is an unmitigated disaster (political denials notwithstanding) and it is certainly not as good as our old currency.

  25. avatar
    catherine benning

    @ Sebastien Von Eisen

    You are incorrect, the USA is a country made up of millions of people all living in their separate communities speaking numerous languages who have been raised bilingual in order to colonise the country they live in. English is their chosen world language. The indigenous population of the US was the American Indian, they do not speak English as their mother tongue. They, as we all should, use it as a common communicator among their different ghettos.

    We Europeans, on the other hand, are the indigenous of our European States. And although we also have a need for a common language to communicate, we belong here. And it is our duty to learn as many of the languages we can as they are ours and spring from our own soil. We are not a borrowed land.

  26. avatar
    Paul X

    @Carlos V Arc

    “Europe is too plural and diverse, within countries whose people, culture, habits, history, etc… have really nothing in common with others”

    Exactly, and that is what is so good about Europe! Who wants to cross the European continent without even realising you are passing through different countries? Who wants Europe to be one big homogeneous land mass like the US?….. certainly not me

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      This is why we should stop enlargement and have more countries to travel through outside the EU.

  27. avatar
    Vladan Lausevic

    Being a European citizen means that you are affected by decisions taken on EU level and also at the same time that you as citizen have the right to influence the politics of Europe. Even if Europe is culturally diversified it is still possible to share same ideas and values even if they are implemented differently due the circumstances on the national or local level. As a liberal I feel connected to other liberals in Europe by the ideology and wish that more decisions on European level can be provided through ideological argumentation that is universal and applicable in all parts of Europe.

    Regarding the question about “what do we have in common in the EU” I consider that there are many answers. Ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, environmentalism but also ideas such as nationalism, fascism and communism. Also there are aspects as parliamentism, welfare states, democracy, cultural influences such as food, music, art etc. Finally we should not forget that nations, nationalism and nation-states are still young social constructions with roots in American and French revolutions at the same time the we are living in time of globalization. That is why I believe it is important to have a political identity above the national level. And as European citizen you are free to choose how you would like to form your European identity.

  28. avatar
    Paul X

    “EU Citizen” is a label the EU is trying to browbeat everyone into referring to themselves as rather than British, German, Greek etc etc
    Similarly “EU State” must be used instead of referring to your country as such…I’m sure there’s probably legislation in the pipeline banning the word country and making “State” and “Region” the only words you are permitted to use when you refer to your own little bit of the homogeneous European land mass. Penalty for daring to refer to your country in such a “nationalistic” way is 2 years hard brainwashing at the EU school of individuality removal

    • avatar

      You’re presenting your fears as reality. Some of it ends up sounding slanderous…

  29. avatar

    when I am asked about my citizenship I say British or UK. … not European. to be called a European citizen means nothing to me and because it means nothing to me I will not be taking part in the EU elections.

  30. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar


    Unfair taxes.

    Paying money to ungrateful countries that refuse to accept that their deadbeat country is living off charity.



    A desire to treat everyone equally BUT at the same time trampling on the goodwill of the larger EU nations AND enforcing a lesser form of democracy on the northern EU nations.

    • avatar

      Plus cultural bias and attempts to belittle other members…mainly by the not so successful members of our societies.

  31. avatar

    Well lets see, im a dutch citizen and will remain that way till we have referendums.
    Another of topic, has anyone noticed the game being played by Brussels to create thier fed. They are using their revolutionary specialists in the ukraine , creating chaos , and yes we all know what thier next move will be .
    I can hear verhofstad/merkel/ren/van rompuy standing up and shouting , we need an integrated/united europe ,one military engine to ward of this kind of aggression, i bet verhofstad is doing the dance, yes its europhile heaven. Yes people brussels is fed building and using this grand ukrainian diversion to get it done.
    Its called pulling the wool over your eyes. Bravo well done boys..
    The europhile propaganda machine is working overtime .
    I feel bad for the people of the ukraine whom have gone from bad to worse. They have gotten rid of a dictator and are going to end up with a elite bankster, and everyone knows banksters only care about other banksters.
    Ukraine needs to be free, to print its own money and have thier own borders democracy, not an austerity ridden eu province being plucked the trioka till theres nothing left to pluck , we know what happened to greece.
    So what does it mean to be a eu citizen, we wont go there , not today……

  32. avatar
    Team Polaroidised

    we took polaroid photos of EU (and world citizens) asking this very question… have a look at what they say: (also on twitter: @polaroidised)

  33. avatar

    Universal Diversity is a common ground!

  34. avatar
    Michael Tsikalakis

    The Word “citizeship” is misundestood. Ideas and feelings. way of life and history, family and point of view etc can not be sold. But what about the EU citizenship ? The definition in thiw case is not clear. EU urgently needs a European Identidy…..

  35. avatar
    Neil Mukherjee

    Hello Debating Europe, It’s good to be talking to you again. My observations and comment about EU Citizenship in addition to National Citizenship is that although we are securing EU socio-political and economic integration, we have lost out on shaping the concept of an EU Identity as well as having lost out on our National Identity. Both the EU Super-State concept and Nationalistic viewpoints seem to be two polar opposites that have no middle ground. This has happened because I believe we have stopped building a national mainstream heritage that identifies and fits into our EU Identity. We know more about EU rights (and that too not that well) but have not integrated as EU Citizens. Many EU Citizens upon settling in a new EU-Host Country revert back to their regional culture, language and community, making alliances only with their neighbouring home country citizens. So in effect we as of yet have no EU Citizens’ Identity and we are also losing out on our mainstream national heritage. Diversity best works if there is mutual sharing and appreciation of cultures whilst also upholding and respecting the host language and culture. The host nation’s culture, language and people need to be respected and included as we are trying very hard to include and accommodate non UK EU and Non EU Citizens. In essence there should be a concept of mutual inclusion but for many years this has not been the case. A significant number of UK Citizens are being excluded from being part of the new globalised nation that occured before they were born into and brought up in. The EU has evolved without educating and preparing many UK citizens. Rapid changes have taken place without consultation, involvement and inclusion. How can we address this vital issue for the preservation and success of a United Kingdom within a European Union that is still not defined from a citizen’s perspective (yet we know that the EU Parliament is the key shaper in the future of all Her Nation States’ future)? We must not lose hope but must work much harder to earn the trust of each and every EU Citizen whether they are ready to be a part of the EU or not. Thank you and Good Luck! Neil.

  36. avatar
    Neil Mukherjee

    Correction added: A significant number of UK Citizens are being excluded from being part of the new globalised nation under the EU Umbrella that came into effect after they were born in and brought up in their country of birth.

  37. avatar

    NOTHING!!!! Is there a way to stop being an EU citizen

  38. avatar

    If I take the USA as an example then I can say that until 1868 there was no such thing as U.S. citizen. This idea was introduced by the 14th amendment. Still there are major differences between the states and how people think.

    Like Eastern European people are often disliked in Western European countries, an equal attitude exists between for example the Texans and ‘Yankees’. Even though they are all U.S. Citizens, people somehow tend to feel a part of what’s most close to them.

    For me, my Dutch passport is as European as someone from Bulgaria and I don’t see the use of a European nationality.

    People will start seeing the benefits of the EU, once the EU will start to function as it should and without wasting money on regular moving of offices between Brussels, Luxembourg and Strassbourg. We don’t need some European nationality for that.

  39. avatar
    Martin Jones

    What many of the above authors cannot understand is that the era of the nation state is coming to an end. You cannot roll back globalisation. As time goes by the nation state will be come more and more irrelevant. Only as part of the EU can any country in europe including the UK play any meaningful role in the world.

  40. avatar
    Mark Pead

    Ok then Martin..if we are all to be part of a super EU state then is it asking too much for Democratic Accountability?

  41. avatar

    End of stereotyping and discriminating against people according to their country of origin. A consensus on a common future.

  42. avatar

    What does EU citizenship mean to me? Nothing! I hate being forced to be a citizen of a superstate controlled by the un-elected people like Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junkers and Martin Schulz. I would like to renounce my EU citizenship.

  43. avatar

    Colonialism has no end, exploitation too ….

    If anyone wants to know why the West gets rich through colonialism and why everyone is running in the “west” direction, let them read this: ⬇️

    “Africa and Global Markets

    Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the last regions of the world untouched by “informal imperialism”, is also attractive to European authorities for economic, political and social reasons. At a time when Britain’s trade balance showed an increasing deficit with shrinking and increasingly protectionist continental markets due to the Long Depression (1873-1896), Africa offered Britain, Germany, France and other countries an open market that would accumulate trade surplus: a market that buys more colonial power than it sells. [4]

    In addition, surplus capital is often invested more profitably in overseas territories, where cheap materials, limited competition and many raw materials mean the possibility of greater profits. Another impetus for imperialism arises from the demand for raw materials not available in Europe, in particular copper, cotton, rubber, palm oil, cocoa, diamonds, tea and tin, to which European consumers are already accustomed and on which European industry depends. . In addition, Britain wants the southern and eastern coasts of Africa as port ports en route to Asia and its territories in India. [6] “

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Road to the elections View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.