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EU citizenship

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What is EU citizenship?

  • Any person who holds the nationality of an EU country is automatically also an EU citizen. EU citizenship is additional to and does not replace national citizenship. It is for each EU country to lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of nationality of that country.
  • Citizenship of the Union is conferred directly on every EU citizen by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

What rights do you have as an EU citizen?

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union entails the right:

EU citizens also have the right to equal access to the EU Civil Service.

The Lisbon Treaty introduced a new form of public participation for European citizens, the Citizens' Initiative. This allows one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of EU countries to call directly on the European Commission to bring forward an initiative of interest to them within the framework of its powers.

EU citizenship is regularly taken into consideration in the judgments of the Court of the Justice.

Do you or your family members need more information and advice? Please visit Your Europe.

Do you need help to solve a problem or want to file a complaint? Please visit Your Rights.

Do you need information specifically on Social Security Rights? Please visit DG Employment, social affairs and inclusion.

What is the European Commission doing?

In the perspective of the 2016 EU Citizenship Report, the Commission and the European Parliament organised a Hearing on EU Citizenship in practice: our common values, rights and democratic participation on 15 March 2016.

The Commission is also monitoring the implementation and application by Member States of the EU citizenship rights as provided by the Treaty.

The Commission launched on 14 September a public consultation to gather citizens' experience and their ideas on how to make their live easier when they exercise their EU rights (reportpdf Choose translations of the previous link  and factsheetpdf Choose translations of the previous link ).

Two Flash Eurobarometer surveys were conducted in November 2015 throughout EU-28 Member States, the first one on European Union Citizenshippdf(8 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  (see summarypdf(3 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  and generalpdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  and national factsheets) and the second one specifically on Electoral rightspdf(8 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  (see summarypdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  and generalpdf(613 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  and national factsheets).

What has the European Commission done?

In 2014, the Commission issued a handbook for citizens "Did you know? 10 EU rights at a glance", as announced in its 2013 EU Citizenship Report.

In 2013 the Commission adopted its second EU Citizenship Reportpdf Choose translations of the previous link  in May 2013 during the European Year of Citizens. This report draws an account of progress on the 25 actions put forward in 2010 and presents 12 new initiativespdf Choose translations of the previous link  in 6 key areas to promote EU Citizenship and remove remaining obstacles preventing citizens from drawing the full benefits of EU citizenship. It is accompanied by a Report on progress towards effective EU citizenship 2011-2013pdf Choose translations of the previous link . There are also factsheets on the results from all of the Member States.

The 2013 EU Citizenship Report is based on testimonies and ideas by citizens collected through a consultation process launched in May 2012. This involved a public consultation on EU citizenshippdf Choose translations of the previous link  to gather citizens' experiences and their ideas on how to reinforce EU citizenship (see results by country), two Eurobarometer surveys on EU citizenshippdf Choose translations of the previous link  and electoral rightspdf Choose translations of the previous link  , a study by the Committee of the Regions on obstacles to free movement and political rights as well as events, such as a Forum organised by the Committee of the Regions  on 28 November 2012, a hearingpdf jointly organised by the European Parliament and the Commission, and the Commission's Citizens' Dialogues.

In its first Citizenship Report 2010pdf Choose translations of the previous link , the Commission identified obstacles that citizens face when making use of their EU rights as well as actions to eliminate these obstacles. The report was accompanied by a report on the progress towards effective EU citizenshippdf(109 kB) Choose translations of the previous link .  Both reports built on the results of a public consultation that took place in 2010. The Commission delivered on its commitments - see progress.pdf Choose translations of the previous link 

The Commission has published 5 reports on the implementation of part II of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union since the establishment of EU citizenship by the Treaty of Maastricht.

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