Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The EURCIT network sought to establish the most successful basis for the elaboration of European citizenship. We investigated three conceptual models (the civic nationalist; the cosmopolitan globalist; and a 'mixed' model combining elements of each of these), and carried out empirical investigations of policy and institutional change as well as political mobilisation by citizens and their representatives. Our findings are of great relevance for policy making. We concluded that the mixed model offers the most suitable basis for European citizenship, since it suggests how citizens from both different member states and third country nationals might engage with each other and the EU institutions, thereby building a sense of solidarity on a cross-border basis. We have demonstrated that the necessary sense of common political identity for European citizenship cannot be based on the idea of a common European heritage, but can emerge from collective agreement on values and aims - provided these values are allowed to emerge from a process of dialogue and deliberation at both mass and elite levels, rather than imposed on the basis of supposedly common cultural and constitutional traditions. Consequently, the process of European integration must be politicised in a new way, namely by reform of decision making to foster cross-border activism by concerned (groups of) citizens. Our recommendations for action thus focus on the issues of institutional change, policy styles and policy reform. We propose a clarification of the concept of subsidiarity to allow citizens to identify which actor is responsible for which policy. We support the reinforcement of the 'partnership principle', its explicit extension to civil society actors, and its application to many further areas of EU policy.

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