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EU citizenship

European citizenship was first defined in Articles 9 - 12 of the Treaty on European Union. Articles 18 - 25 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) set down the rights resulting from EU citizenship.

Any national of an EU country is considered to be a citizen of the EU. EU citizenship does not replace national citizenship: it is an addition to it. Citizenship gives them the right to:

  • move and take up residence anywhere in the EU;
  • vote and stand in local government and European Parliament elections in their country of residence;
  • diplomatic and consular protection outside the EU from the authorities of any EU country if their country of nationality is not represented;
  • petition the European Parliament and appeal to the European Ombudsman;
  • address the European institutions in any of its official languages and to receive a reply in the same language;
  • non-discrimination on the basis of nationality, gender, race, religion, handicap, age or sexual orientation;
  • invite the Commission to submit a legislative proposal (citizens' initiative);
  • access EU institutions' and bodies' documents, subject to certain conditions (Article 15 of the TFEU).