An Ongoing Challenge: EU Citizenship, Migrant Status and Nationality. Focus on Latvia
Abstract: Nationality originated along with development of the modern nation-State. However, growing global migration, travel and increasing communications have led to creation of multiple individual loyalties in addition to national identity. This is further facilitated by mobility of capital, foreign investment, and establishment of transnational corporations. Dismantling national borders and granting directly effective rights to EU citizens broadens our understanding about belonging only to the limited territory of a single State. Therefore, the primary focus of the study is the status of EU citizenship and rights which EU citizens can enjoy qua EU citizens. The thesis is premised on an argument that the EU should continue to strengthen its structures including EU citizenship to allow its Member States in their togetherness to remain competitive in a globalized world. The stronger the status of EU citizenship the better protection will be available to individuals exploring their rights, thus contributing to the EU. The status of migrants arriving and residing in the EU as well as nationality represent an opportunity to ensure transition from nation-based statuses to trans-national ones. The thesis discuss EU citizenship as part of the construction of a different status from national citizenship. This should not lead to removal of national citizenship and identity but to building up another layer of trans-national identity. EU citizenship cannot be studied thoroughly if isolated from other regimes. Therefore the thesis studies interrelationships with regulation of legal immigration, integration and the national context of Latvia. For this reason, the study focuses on commonalities, tracing interrelationships and changes brought by developments in statuses and rights attached to them under different regimes.
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