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Glossary of summaries

Glossary of summaries


Any national of an EU Member State 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 Member State if their own 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 receive a reply in the same language;
  • non-discrimination on the basis of nationality;
  • 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).

All EU citizens have equal access to the EU Civil Service.

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.