I just spotted this interesting article about an amendment proposed by the Luxembourger MEP Charles Goerens to the EU Committee on Constitutional Affairs to allow individual Brits an opt-in to keep EU citizenship. The actual amendment is on p99 of this PDF, and reads:

Amendment 882 Charles Goerens

Motion for a resolution, Paragraph 37a (new)

37a Advocates to insert in the Treaties a European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to be part of the European project but are nationals of a former Member State; offers these associate citizens the rights of freedom of movement and to reside on its territory as well as being represented in the Parliament through a vote in the European elections on the European lists

Given the way this has been tabled, what stages would it have to pass through to become law and what is the timescale?

If it's not too subjective, some thoughts on how likely it is to succeed would also be very much appreciated. (It sounds nice, but I'm not optimistic given the way 2016 is going so far.)

1 Answer 1


Process and Timescale

The amendment proposed by Charles Goerens was to be done to Guy Verhofstadt draft report on possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional set-up of the European Union. The amendment discussion and implementation would not take long. But notice that it was only for a report document.

This kind of proposal was likely to require treaty change. There are currently two ways of revising the treaties: Ordinary revision procedure, and Simplified revision procedure. The second option cannot (a bit faster) be used to provide the EU with more powers than it has. For this reason I believe this kind of proposal to require the first option which:

... In short the ordinary revision procedure proceeds as follows: if the majority of the European Council agrees that one or both of the treaties require changing a Convention is convened. If the changes needed are not drastic an intergovernmental conference is called without a Convention. If the Convention or intergovernmental conference reach an agreement on changes to the treaties each member state must approve of the changes.

Unless an absolute priority this would likely take years.

Amendment 882

The amendment never went to voting because it was withdrawn by Charles Goerens (2016) himself:

Today I decided together with Guy Verhofstadt to withdraw my amendment on Associate EU Citizenship. We realised that this has become a very important issue that cannot await treaty change – as was my intention when I first tabled my amendment – since this might take years. Yesterday evening, the House of Commons decided by a majority of almost 400 to support Theresa May’s plan to trigger article 50 by the end of March 2017. Hence the prospect that Article 50 will be invoked has become very real indeed. The European Parliament will define its position on the Brexit agreement through a resolution during spring 2017. This seems to be the best opportunity to give Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt the possibility to enforce the Associate EU Citizenship. (source)

Notice that even if the amendment was dropped this does not imply that the subject was forgotten. Particularly dealing with the UK citizens residing in the rest of the EU. It's speculative but this represents an ethical issue for the EU. And I very much doubt that UK citizens currently living in other member states will have big (residency) problems in the future regardless of the treatment the UK gives to EU citizens.

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