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Parliamentary questions
25 July 2012
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

 Subject: Possibility of secession in a Member State and impact on citizens

In document C (2012) 3689, the Commission rejected the proposed citizens' initiative entitled ‘Fortalecimiento de la participación ciudadana en la toma de decisiones sobre la soberanía colectiva’, on the grounds that its substance was outside the Commission's powers.

The aim of the initiative was to ensure that citizens of a new state that might result from a possible secession of Catalonia from Spain would maintain their status as EU citizens. The Commission pointed out that, in addition to not finding any legal basis either in the Treaties or in secondary legislation by which it could support this initiative, under Article 20 TFEU only persons holding the nationality of a Member State were also citizens of the Union, since citizenship of the Union was additional to and did not replace national citizenship.

The Commission also stated that in case of secession within a Member State, the solution would have to be found through negotiations under international law.

In the light of the above, can the Commission answer the following questions:

1. Is it true that Article 20 TFEU stipulates that EU citizenship is additional to that of a Member State and that, in case of secession, citizens would immediately lose their status as EU citizens and the resultant rights and obligations?
2. Does the Commission not agree that citizens should nevertheless be protected in the event of a possible secession within a Member State through the use of international law? If so, how?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 228 E, 07/08/2013
Last updated: 14 August 2012Legal notice