This paper's aim is to approach the issue of European citizenship by showing the dynamics of the related policies. While recognising the importance of the legal assessment of the Union citizenship as defined by the Treaties, much attention is paid to the socio-cultural meaning of the European citizenship, which stimulates the emergence of a supranational loyalty and a sense of belonging to the European Union. After an analysis of the historical development of the concept of European citizenship, it is empirically demonstrated that the success of the European citizenship policy depends critically on the capacity of the Union to meet the mainly pragmatic expectations of the citizens. Accordingly, the lack of a harmonised welfare system at the European level, which causes restrictions of the free movement of the Union citizens within the member states, proves to be the major disincentive of the European identification.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.