Chapter 9 Practice essay question

Chapter 9 Question

EU citizenship means:

a)     that all EU citizens have the right to move to any state in the EU and reside there on equal terms in all matters with the nationals of that state;

b)     EU citizens who have moved across one of the EU internal borders and who have either provided or received services in the host state are able to take advantage of all EU law rights in both the host state and the home state when they return.

To what extent do these statements reflect the current legal position?

Attempt this question before reading the answer guidance below.



Answer guide

Start with a definition of citizenship, referring to each member state’s definition of citizenship and giving the context of what Articles 20 and 21 TFEU provide for that concept. Then consider each statement in turn.


By way of backdrop and comparison, consider briefly the previous position of rights which could only be enjoyed by workers and the self-employed, before this was expanded by the three general movement rights’ directives.

If EU citizenship obtained all rights of national citizenship it would mean complete equality before the law. It would be fair to take the view that the statement is probably going too far.

EU citizens have the right under the citizenship provisions to enter and reside in host states, providing they comply with any restrictions in the current legislation. Generally, this means they must be lawfully resident – see the Grzelczyk, Sala and Akrich cases. Also, they must not be an “unreasonable” burden – see Grzelczyk.

Certainly, the Art 18 TFEU no-discrimination requirement applies, but you need to consider whether a prohibition of discrimination applies to everything encountered in the host state, such as welfare benefits, which is a moot point.


It can certainly be argued that the second statement is correct. However, Advocates General have added a note of caution which has also been taken up by the CJEU in Angonese, Carpenter, Collins, and Akrich. This relates to having to demonstrate a degree of connection to the host and home state. To address this, you should discuss the above cases