Why I’d rather be European than British.
Aaron Bohlman
31

Well-written piece. But there’s a problem at the heart of it: even the hypothetical idea of an EU passport raises a lot of questions that aren’t so easy to answer and still hold on to liberal lefty principals. After all, there is no such thing as a “generic EU passport” for a reason: the EU doesn’t really exist as a single political entity. It is a supranational union of nation states which manifests itself in various bodies (Commission, Parliament, European Council etc.) but still lacks many of the essential functions of a state (collecting direct taxes, defence, social welfare programmes etc.) The perks you and I currently enjoy as “EU Citizens” comes from the fact that our country, the UK, has signed up to various treaties with other countries that ensures certain rights for its citizens in return for fulfilling obligations, including the reciprocal rights for citizens of other member states.

If your wish for a European passport is purely from the desire to display your membership of and belief in the global community, an even better alternative already exists: the World Passport. Only catch? It’s not recognised by any actual countries and can’t be used to travel. So I suppose then that what you want from your hypothetical EU citizenship is really the privileges that it bestows. But, short of the sudden introduction of full European federalism (probably not gonna happen any time soon…) the only way to be guaranteed those privileges is to be a citizen of a member state — asking to enjoy those privileges without submitting to the obligations that being a citizen of a nation state entails would put you in a position of privilege above any citizen of any other EU state (and arguably any state in the world!)

So, I propose that a more pertinent question would be: would you give up your UK passport for a Czech one? With the follow-up question: even if the UK withdrew the automatic right for Czechs to visit, live and work in the UK?

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