The Citizen, the Administration and Community Law
1National School for Political Studies and Public Administration, Faculty of Public Administration,
Abstract. When the Maastricht Treaty on European Union entered into force in November 1993, every
national of a Member State became, in addition, a citizen of the Union. The provisions concerning citizenship
of the Union were inserted into the Treaty establishing the European Community as a new Part Two of the
Treaty (Articles 8 to 8e). Hence they are firmly anchored in Community law. The public authorities with
which citizens are most likely to have personal contact are bodies carrying out administrative tasks. In
relation to Community law an d policies administrative tasks are carried out partly by Community institutions
and bodies and partly by public authorities in the Member States. From the standpoint of the citizen, the
administrative activity of public authorities, at the Community level as well as at the national level, has three
main aspects. First, it may involve restrictions or interference with private right s that normally enjoy legal
protection, such as property or privacy. Second, the administration provides benefits that an individual citizen
may wish to acquire such as subsidies, enforcement of his rights against third parties, or a job. Third,
administrative bodies aim to provide public services which are of general benefit. All these aspects will be
described and analyzed in this paper.
Keywords: citizenship, EC law, administration
The concept of citizenship thus provides an important element of unity in the complex
constitutional architecture of Union/Community that has emerged from the Treaties of Maastricht and
Amsterdam. As amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, Article 8 EC reads as follows: 1. Citizenship of
the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a
citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship.
2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights conferred by this Treaty and shall be subject to the
duties imposed thereby. The third sentence of Article 8 §1 concerning the complementary nature of
Union citizenship was added at Amsterdam. It emphasizes a point already stressed by the European
Council at Edinburgh in 1992.
By referring to rights and duties under the Treaty, Article 8 § 2 provides a clear link between the
concept of Union citizenship and the principle, established by the case law of the Court of Justice, that
the subjects of the Community legal order comprise not only Member States but also their nationals.
This principle is, in turn, closely connected to the idea that the Community Treaties are the
constitutional charter of a Community which is based on the rule of law1.
Both the rights of individuals as subjects of Community law and adherence to the rule of law as a
fundamental principle have been re-enforced by the case-law of the Court concerning general
principles of law, which include fundamental rights as an integral part. Of particular importance in this
context are the cases in which the Court has drawn on the constitutional traditions common to the
1 Opinion 1/91 Draft agreement between the Community, on the one hand, and the countries of the European Free Trade
Association, on the other, relating to the creation of the European Economic Area  ECR I-6079; Case 294/83 Parti
écologiste Les Verts v Parliament  ECR 1339.