The Rippling Effects of European Citizenship: The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 and Civic Engagement in the Netherlands.
Lelij, L.C. van der
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The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 has introduced legal European Union (EU) citizenship to all citizens of EU member states. This unique development has introduced international citizenship that exist next to national citizenship. This thesis, links the construction of legal EU citizenship to civic engagement with the EU and specifically focusses on the Netherlands. The following research question is answered: did the creation of European citizenship with the 1992 Maastricht Treaty change civic engagement in the Netherlands with the EU? This question is answered by using Switzerland as an example of a successful (semi-)federal institution. Three elements of Swiss civic engagement are determined: common civic culture, member state involvement and democratic quality. These elements are measured before and after the creation of the Maastricht Treaty to distinguish whether civic engagement in the Netherlands with the EU has changed. Thereafter it is discussed how EU legal citizenship has influenced this change. The elements are measured by analysing Eurobarometers, EU legal documents, Dutch parliamentary documents, voter turn-out and an interview with member of European Parliament (MEP), Sophie in ‘t Veld. The analysis shows that civic engagement in the Netherlands with the EU has changed in a negative sense. EU legal citizenship has not directly influenced this change, but influenced it indirectly by the individualization that it provides. Furthermore, EU legal citizenship holds the potential to increase civic engagement in the Netherlands.