The Impact of European Integration on the Development of Modern Citizenship.

Williams, Simon J (2007) The Impact of European Integration on the Development of Modern Citizenship. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Interlinking vital aspects of the legal, economic, political and social competencies of its participating member states the European Union as it is presently constituted represents a unique experiment in the development of a new type of supranational political system.

Driven by the accelerating processes of globalisation and actioned through a variety of formal and informal mechanisms European integration is slowly shifting the centre of political authority to a new supranational European level.

The challenge for the European Union is to reconcile these developments and create an institutional framework that provides democratic legitimacy promotes equality, social inclusion and social justice and creates a political system that can recognise and accommodate the differences inherent in an increasingly multi-cultural society.

Recognising the close inter-relationship between the effects of integration and the exercise of meaningful political participation, the European Commission has explicitly identified European citizenship as the mechanism to legitimise continued integration. The purpose of this research is to analyse the implications of this decision and to explore whether over time European citizenship has the potential to create and foster a distinct European identity which can promote a genuine and meaningful form of participatory post-national citizenship based outside the nation state.

Drawing together both integration and citizenship theory into a new synthesis, the research is seeking to develop a new syncretic model of integration that can satisfactorily explain both the complexity and sophistication of the European Union and explain the forces which are currently driving forward the momentum of integration towards an "ever closer" political Union.

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