Photograph: Presentation of the study on June 20 in the European Parliament, from left: Mr Keith Bush QC, Dr Petra Minnerop, Jill Evans MEP, Prof Volker Roeben, Dr Pedro Telles
Jill Evans writes,
The concept of European citizenship introduced in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty affords rights, freedoms, and legal protections to all citizens, as well as giving a legal basis to European identity. Many people in Wales passionately feel both Welsh and European, and do not want to lose their European citizenship when the UK leaves the EU.
This is the view of many hundreds of constituents who have contacted me over the past twelve months, deeply concerned at the thought of losing their European citizenship. They asked me, as their MEP, whether an 'associate citizenship’ would actually be feasible.
My first step was to commission a detailed, expert opinion on the legal and constitutional options. I am extremely grateful to Professor Volker Roeben and his team in Swansea University for agreeing to undertake this work and for having produced such a thorough piece of research.
Their findings show that EU citizenship could be maintained after UK withdrawal, and that an associate citizenship could be possible without treaty change.
What will be essential is the political will to make it happen.
This ground-breaking work has already had recognition and support in Brussels and across Europe. I am confident that it will make a positive and constructive contribution to the negotiations on our future status as citizens.
Follow this link to read the full report: here.