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Citizenship as Europeanization, Europeanization as Citizenship: European democracy and the European Roma, Sinti, and Traveller communities

Open Panel

Abstract

Citizenship has become one of the central categories in the study of European integration today, even beyond the institutional and geographic confines of the EU. Yet its very centrality is derived from the controversy and questions that surround the process of European integration as a process (and product) wedged and at times torn between post-national commitments and continuing national prerogatives. The proposed paper will argue that the recent (but in fact: old) controversy about the rights of residency and free movement for the Roma, Sinti, and Traveller communities within the EU area is exemplary of the institutional and political tensions that characterize the notion of a citizenship beyond national borders. Two interrelated hypotheses will be examined: 1) the member states of the EU and the Council of Europe increasingly are confronted with the existence of a post-national definition of “citizenship” that is being created by the processes of European integration and is being propagated and defended by European-level organizations and actors; 2) European integration has provided the Roma, Sinti, and Traveller communities in Europe with an opportunity to organize around the development/ideal of a European citizenship at the European (EU, Council of Europe) level, which is beginning to empower them and provide them with a new sense of a common identity and purpose. The proposed paper will not only deepen some earlier work, but also present some (preliminary) results of interviews and additional research conducted in Brussels (Commission, civil society groups) and Strasbourg (EP, Council of Europe) in May/June 2011.