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To what extent can the Spanish model of citizenship be used for the European Union? Examine the rights and duties of the citizen under the Spanish Constitution as well as the conciliation of various regional aspirations and feelings. In what way is this

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Exploring solutions that have been imagined by other countries.
  2. The Spanish constitution: Various rights in exchange for unity.
    1. Elaboration and overview.
    2. The 'Spanish model of Citizenship'.
    3. A singular regional dimension.
  3. A Spanish model for the European citizenship?
    1. Same contestations?
    2. The European citizenship.
  4. Conclusion.

According to many commentators and journalists, the European Union would be challenged by some crisis, each of them having different natures: for instance, European regions, whereas they could be a good complement for European governance, are increasingly perceived as a threat for the European administration, as the smallest scales of administration are trusted to have more legitimacy for citizens. At the time where ?big government? offers some advantages, the EU has to face this pressure that the democratic election of the European Parliament, since 1979, did not entirely solve. As a consequence, the feeling of ?European citizenship? is rather weak at the beginning of the twenty-first century, since national or even membership is much more concrete for many people. Considering this, the need of a real impulsion from the European authorities is certain: the recent democratic disapproval of the European Constitution by voters of France and Netherlands can be perceived as proofs of this ?far-distant? Europe that is still unable to create a genuine and undisputed adhesion from 25 countries.

[...] For instance, the Basque Statute underlines some tax-rising privileges, while the Catalan Statute emphasizes considerable freedom in terms of education, culture and language. Thus, the various regional inspirations and feelings are taken into account at the highest level. In the case of ?slow-route autonomous communities? (that is to say, regions which accession to autonomy was not so evident after the death of General Franco), communities are supposed to get limited self-governing powers, but still more than in a centralized state. [...]


[...] As a conclusion, we can say that the only fact to set the question of the creation of a European citizenship appears as a failure for Europe, since it has been existing for decades, and did not manage to create an unchallenged feeling of belonging. However, things are changing with new generations: The massive use of the Internet, students' exchange programs, professional mobility are factors that can enable ?European citizenship? to increase. It is sure that the situation can not be worse as in the past. [...]


[...] Alongside to these rights, we have to highlight that the duties of Spaniards are also written in the Constitution: They have the duty to know the Castilian language, and the ?right and the duty to defend Spain?. Regarding environment, they may have obligations in case of environmental calamities, and they also have the duty to respect environment in general. For the work, an interesting formulation has been adopted, since Spaniards have the ?right and the duty to work?[6]. A singular regional dimension The country has a semi-federal structure, in which the powers of the state are shared with 17 comunidades autónomas, each having its own president, parliament, executive and high court of justice. [...]

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