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).
Source: EUR Lex Glossary