Makale özeti ve diğer detaylar.
Avrupa siyasi entegrasyon süreci içindeki girişimlerden biri Avrupa Yurttaşlığı'dır. 1970'lerde tartışılmaya başlanan, 1993 yılında yürürlüğe giren Maastricht Anlaşması ile kurumsallaşan Avrupa Yurttaşlığı ilkesi, ulus-devletin dışında ve ötesinde bir vatandaşlık yaratılmasını amaçlayan tek deneyimdir. Avrupa'daki bütünleşme süreci, başlangıcından bu yana Avrupa halklarının dışında ve üzerinde gerçekleşmektedir. AB politikalarının halktan kopuk bir şekilde gerçekleştirilmesi, AB üyesi ülke vatandaşlarını giderek AB politikalarından uzaklaştırmıştır. Bu durumun somut yansımaları; Avrupa Parlamentosu seçimlerine katılım oranlarının düşmesi, AB ile ilgili halk oylamalarında olumsuz oy kullanma eğilimlerinin artması ve AB'nin daha çok sorgulanması gibi örneklerde görülmektedir. Durumu fark eden Avrupa eliti, bir yandan halklara "Avrupalı" hissettirmek için ortak pasaport, öğrenci/öğretmen değişim sistemleri, ulusal parlamentoların güçlendirilmesi, anayasa oluşturma çalışmaları gibi kimlik yaratmaya yönelik girişimlerde bulunmaktadırlar. Diğer taraftan ise, bu girişimlerin sekteye uğramaması için, bu yönde ısrar eden vatandaşların varlığına rağmen, Lizbon Anlaşması örneğindeki gibi, halk oylamalarına gidilmemektedir. Aslında pratikteki amacı, AB eliti ile vatandaşlar arasındaki bağı güçlendirerek Avrupa politikalarının daha geniş bir alanda meşruiyetinin sağlanması olan Avrupa Yurttaşlığı, başka nedenlerin yanında, uygulamadaki demokratik yoksunluk sebebiyle de gerçekleşememektedir. Öte yandan yurttaşlık, devleti oluşturan öğelerden biridir. Hâlbuki bugün Avrupa'da bir devlet yoktur.
The principle of European citizenship has started to be discussed in the midst of 1970s, but institutionalised in 1993 with the Maastricht Treaty coming into force. The main reason was to make the European common policies legitimate in a wider area. Since the integration process has always been outside and above the member states' citizens, people were losing their interest and support in the integration project. The situation materialised by people's low participation in the European parliamentary elections, "no" answers to the referenda on EU issues and questioning the existence of the EU. Besides, public opinion polls show that still a small minority of EU citizens define themselves "European" before or with their national belonging. A radical approach states that the main reason for creation of such a concept has been due to the need to facilitate the commercial procedures within the European Community. Free movement of people required a full equality and complete freedom of people for business. European citizenship is sometimes referred to as practically "an identity around a European consumer ideal" in the "laissez-faire" European system. Although the concept of citizenship and citizenship rights existed before the nation-state came into being, traditionally, citizenship has the condition of attachment to a nation-state. European citizenship is the first and the only experience aiming to create a citizenship out and beyond the nation-state, which can also be called a "post-national citizenship". It aims to solidify the bond among different citizens of different states, which would create a European demos and an identity; because citizen of any member state would be citizen of Europe. At this point there is a challenge that a member state citizen is at the same time a European citizen, but he/she becomes a European citizen because he/she is the citizen of an EU member state; as EU citizenship depends on the EU membership of his/her state. The problem here is there are already national citizenships in the European system. It is difficult to convince people to accept another extra citizenship. "European" is not a legal concept. Today we still cannot talk about "European citizens", but citizens of the EU member states. This is because citizenship requires a state, while the EU is far from being a state. Perhaps the most important problem in the failure of European citizenship project and creating a sense of belonging to Europe is the lack of political participation of the EU members' citizens to the European politics. It is impossible to expect these people to feel as "European citizens" if they do not have the chance to have a role in the government. Thus, as the EU cannot fulfil the role of a nation-state and cannot attribute duties of a citizen, the European citizenship project has a long road to go into effect. Briefly, the problem can be defined as democratic deficit or lack of legitimacy of the EU government. In order to anticipate the future developments of European citizenship, we should look at how the biggest steps were taken within the integration process. The European Coal and Steel Community, for instance, could be considered as a miracle for the states which were in war for long years. These states accepted to pool the most sensitive area – production of coal and steel – under a supranational control. It was the existence of common threat and fear, which were the Germans and the Soviets, for such a concession. The second important move, the Maastricht Treaty was signed under the threat of a stronger Germany after the unification. Today, in order to take big steps, again there is a need for a common and serious threat. Today, if there is a crisis within the EU – identity, integration, constitution etc. – the reason is the lack of a common threat which is also the raison d'être of integration. So the grand problem is the lack of a reason for the EU member state citizens to share national sovereignties with supra-national bodies for more integration. Robert Gilpin assumes a test of loyalty and self-sacrifice. While people continue to give their utmost loyalty to the nation state and are willing to die for it, very few individuals have made an equivalent sacrifice for the European Community. Thus, he says, the state still holds a virtual monopoly over human loyalty.