Brexit and the security of the European project: citizenship and free movement as a case study

Main Article Content

Massimo Fichera


discourses, EU citizenship, free movement, rights


The article makes use of the notion of security as a heuristic device providing a descriptive and normative conceptual framework for the purposes of interpreting the events associated with Brexit. It claims that security can be identified as a meta-constitutional rationale of the European project. In particular, two discourses of power (security and fundamental rights) have been constitutive of the process of European polity-building, although they are characterised by ambiguities and contradictions. Brexit, and in particular the complex issues relating to free movement and citizenship rights, confirms such contradictions and enables us to consider more carefully the nature of the EU polity and the reasons underpinning its development. In other words, security emerges at the same time as an opportunity for growth and as a threat for the European project. The article suggests that, in order to safeguard EU integration, a move from a self-referential to a heterarchical form of security is necessary.

Abstract 619 | NILQ 69.3.3 Fichera FINAL Downloads 154