November 9, 2016 by Charles Goerens
Charles Goerens, MEP for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, has tabled an amendment to a Parliament report on the future institutional set up of the European Union, calling for the establishment of a European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to be part of the European project, but are nationals of a former member state.
This associate membership should provide rights such as the freedom of movement and the right to reside in the EU Member States. Following the reciprocal principle of ‘no taxation without representation’, these associate citizens should pay an annual membership fee directly into the EU budget. In return, EU associate citizens will be able to stand and vote in the European elections on trans-national European lists.
Commenting this morning, Charles Goerens said:
“48% of British voters wished to remain European citizens with all the advantages that this brings. The EU should facilitate associate voluntary EU citizenship for those who, against their will, are being stripped of their European identity. Individual EU associate citizenship could provide a practical solution for UK citizens aggrieved by Brexit. ”
“Initial talks with other parliamentarians regarding my amendment have been positive, but there is a long way to go to make this a reality. My proposal will ultimately require changes to the EU treaties, but this will be necessary anyway, to remove mention of the UK from the EU treaties after Brexit. ”
Notes to Editors
Currently the Treaties specify that European citizenship stems directly from the national citizenship of its Member States. However, it also specifies that citizenship of the Union is additional to and does not replace national citizenship.
Creating an individual citizenship to the Union would thus require treaty change, not in the least to specify its rights and duties, but it would not infringe upon national citizenship.
Eligibility of associate citizenship
Associate citizenship is firstly designed for European citizens who will lose their European citizenship as a result of the withdrawal of their country from the Union.
What happens next?
The European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs will vote on the amendments tabled during a meeting scheduled for the 21st November. The European Parliament will then vote on the recommendations in the report on future treaty changes during a plenary session in December.
Once the UK Government has formally triggered article 50, the European Parliament will draft a separate resolution, outlining its negotiating position and red lines in the negotiations to come. The Article 50 divorce agreement concluded will be subject to a vote in the European Parliament. Once the Brexit is final, a treaty change procedure needs to be initiated to at least update the current Treaties.
The text of the amendment (number 882) can be found here.