EU is, however, a work in progress and while it is done with such tasks as border control and economic integration, the Union has to move on to the more difficult areas – home affairs, immigration, defense, among others – which have strong social dimensions. As more and more states aspire for EU membership to partake of this umbrella of protection, its further enlargement poses new challenges to European integration. For one, the nature and histories of the possible candidates for new membership are unlike any of the existing member states. The problem becomes even more complicated after EU approved the Maastricht Treaty establishing the Citizenship-of-the-Union law, which many perceive as an attempt to reconfigure and supersede the national citizenship and identities of member states. This EU-wide citizenship statute has stimulated an acrimonious debate about the social, political and citizenship structure of an enlarged Union.
In essence, the debate centers on whether it is wise for EU to make forward steps to strengthen European citizenship or keep it as a largely theoretical proposition. Should people under EU be called European citizens and in the process forget their original British, French, or Turkish citizenships, as the case may be? Or should they be allowed to assume a new EuroEuropean citizenship on top of their respective national identities?
This paper examines the relationship between EU integration and the implementation of the new citizenship law for Europeans. Special attention will be given to the causes and effects, the pros and cons, and the conceptual basis of identity formation on the community, national and regional levels. The objective of the treatise is three-fold: 1) illumine the reasons for the enactment of the EU citizenship law and its relevance to the integration process; 2) assess the validity of the objections to the idea of European citizenship; and 3) determine what form and characteristics of European citizenship would find greater acceptance.
2. Enlargement and Integration
Further enlargement is a necessity for EU because it would serve to strengthen the Union's capability to maintain the balance of peace in the continent1. As the Union counts more member states, it becomes stronger in the process. The earliest nucleus of EU was composed of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Ireland, UK, Luxembourg and Netherlands. They were joined by Greece in 1981 and Portugal and Spain in 1986. Austria, Finland and Sweden followed in 1995. The year 2003 saw the accession of a group consisting of Cypress, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, while