Us and Them: Restricting EU Citizenship Rights Through the Notion of Social Integration
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The article addresses the impact of the concept of social integration on the European Union citizenship regime. Despite the lack of a clear legal definition, integration is gradually becoming a key cross-cutting category of EU law. The degree of integration in the host society influences the intensity of protection granted by EU law, as Member States often resort to forms of integration conditionality to protect their core interests. The analysis contends that recent Court of Justice case law acknowledges the compelling rise of this elusive concept. However, the Court fails to address its intrinsic complexity and does not take into due consideration the impact of its exclusionary effect on the scope of application of Union citizenship rights.