The petition I submitted to the European Parliament in July has not yet been approved for public view, but an interesting proposal has been made by a Luxembourg MEP, Charles Goerens. The Constitutional Affairs committee is considering the EU’s institutional arrangements, and Goerens has proposed the following amendment to their report:
Motion for a resolution, Paragraph 37a (new)
37a Advocates to insert in the Treaties a European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to be part of the European project but are nationals of a former Member State; offers these associate citizens the rights of freedom of movement and to reside on its territory as well as being represented in the Parliament through a vote in the European elections on the European lists.
My petition, provisionally numbered 0922/2016, had stated
As citizens of the European Union, the status of British nationals is protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Citizenship is the right to have rights. If European citizenship is truly fundamental, not just a conditional privilege, no European citizen should have it withdrawn without consent or treated as if it never existed. When the UK ceases to be a Member State, the Parliament, as the guardian of Fundamental Rights, should ensure that European citizens of British nationality who wish to preserve their fundamental rights are able to retain their citizenship.
Goerens’ amendment, though it does not refer to the EU’s obligations under the Charter, is a substantive response to that. As the amendment is framed, however, it asks for Treaty change, and it does so in relation to a document which seeks nothing less than a fundamental review of the Lisbon Treaty. This is likely to be a slow and difficult process, if it happens at all. In so far as the Charter of Fundamental Rights is already part of the constitution of the EU, Treaty change should not be necessary. The EU should do what it has already undertaken to do.