ECIT's A-Z Resources

A — Access to documents

As established in Article 15 TFEU, every citizen and resident of the Member States has the right to access to documents of EU institutions. For more information:

B — Budget and EU funding for citizen projects

Europe for Citizens, is a programme divided into two strands: “Remembrance and European citizenship”and “Democratic engagement and civic participation”. For more information:

C — Citizens’ Initiatives

Under the new Regulation no  788/2019, a legislative proposal can be submitted to the European Commission as long as it is signed by at least 1 million citizens from seven different Member States. For more information:

D — Directive on European Citizenship

A European Directive sets an objective and allows each Member State to implement through national laws. The so-called citizenship (2004/38) introduced a set of free movement rights for every European citizen and their families. For more information:

E — Erasmus+

This programme creates more opportunities for students to study abroad in Europe. In addition to this, the EU offers lifelong learning programmes. For more information:

F — Free movement of people in the European Union

One of the basic rights conferred to European citizens. For more information:

G — Green paper

A Green Paper is a document issued by the Commission aiming to fostering debate and consultation among relevant actors and citizens on a specific topic. Find an index below:

H — Human rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is based in Strasbourg, and The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is based in Luxemburg. The first acts as the guardian of the European Convention of Human Rights and the second of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. For more information:

I — Institutions of the European Union and how they work

You can find this information at one of the 800 information points near you:

J — Justice

DG Justice has a specific department about European citizenship. For more information: 

K — Karlsruhe Court

The ruling on the Lisbon Treaty by the German Constitutional Court is highly significant since it denied the existence of a European demos and a truly European public sphere. More information below:

L — Lisbon Treaty

This treaty aims to achieve “a more democratic and transparent Europe” and “a Europe of rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security. For more information:

M — Maastricht Treaty

Redacted in 1992, this treaty stands as a milestone of the EU, with the creation of the concept of European citizenship. For more information:

N — NGOs – Civil society

An involved civil society has a key role to play in European citizenship. To see what has been done:

O — European Ombudsman

This independent body investigates complaints coming from citizens regarding possible maladministration in EU institutions, agencies or bodies. For more information:

P — Petitions to European Parliament

Thanks to Article 227 TFEU any European citizen can issue a complaint or observation regarding the application of EU law or the demand of the European Parliament to adopt a position on a specific subject. For further information:

Q — Quo Vadis Europe

A vast amount of academic research is dedicated to the future of the European Union. Find more information in:

R — Regulation

A European regulation is a binding legislative act, applied in the whole European Union. Regulation No 883/2004 established a coordination of social security systems. Find more information here:

S — Subsidiarity

This principle establishes that the Union does not take action unless it is in areas that are its exclusive competence or it if its action is more effective than if taken at a lower level. More information in:

T — Transparency register

It lists which interests that are being represented at the European level. They have to declare how much they spend in lobbying and its activities. The Commission has promised that registering will be mandatory soon. Find more information here:

U — Universities

European citizenship is an increasingly researched topic throughout European universities. Find more information in: 

V — Volunteering

The European Voluntary Service programme supports people who want to volunteer up to a year in another European country. Find out more about this in: 

W — White paper

Documents that announces action by the Commission in a specific area. More recently, important policy initiatives are announced in “communications”. See an index below:

X — Xenophobia (fight against)

In the article 6 of the Amsterdam Treaty, set the legal basis for combating discrimination of any kind. After 2000, the Council approved several directives and two programmes were created to prevent discrimination based in ethnic origin. For more information:

Y — Year of Citizens

The European Union promotes different issues by proclaiming an “official year”. 2013 was “year of citizens”. The list with all years below:

Z — Zambrano and other relevant cases

There is a vast number of cases that deal with the enforcement of European citizens’ rights. The cases Van Gend en Loos, Martínez Sala, Baumbast, Zambrano, Metock, Chen and Dano, or stand among others. For more information: