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EU Citizenship and Political Identity: The Demos and Telos Problems

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Citizenship is the cornerstone of a democratic polity. It has three dimensions: legal, civic and affiliative. Citizens constitute the polity's demos, which often coincides with a nation. European Union (EU) citizenship was introduced to enhance ‘European identity’ (Europeans’ sense of belonging to their political community). Yet such citizenship faces at least two problems. First: Is there a European demos? If so, what is the status of peoples (nations, demoi) in the Member States? The original European project aimed at ‘an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.’ Second: Citizens are members of a political community; to what kind of polity do EU citizens belong? Does the EU substitute Member States, assume them or coexist alongside them? After an analytical exposition of the demos and telos problems, I will argue for a normative self‐understanding of the EU polity and citizenship, neither in national nor in federal but in analogical terms.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Charles Sturt University Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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