Print version ISSN 0102-8529
SQUIRE, Vicki. Challenging the limits of European Union citizenship: roma struggles over (im)mobility. Contexto int. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.1, pp.103-130. ISSN 0102-8529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-85292011000100005.
This article examines recent struggles over the mobility of Roma across Europe in terms of the insights that these provide into the limits of European Union (EU) citizenship. Showing how the struggle to deport and contain Roma citizens across Member States of the Union reflect a broader series of limits regarding EU citizenship, the analysis questions any simplistic assumptions regarding the progressiveness of European citizenship over national citizenship. Rather, it points to the constitutive tensions between citizenship as derivative of the nationstate and citizenship as formed through free movement provisions, and reads these tensions as important in understanding the conditions under which contestations of the limitations of EU citizenship emerge. Focusing specifically on the struggles of Roma and Sinti activists in Italy, the article goes on to suggest that questions of mobility are critical to the transformation of European citizenship through 'acts of citizenship' that contest the limits of an EU citizenship regime. This is not understood in the sense that free movement automatically or inevitably rights the wrongs of territorial or nationally-inscribed regimes by including those who are excluded. Rather, the article argues that mobilisations of Roma around mobility are important both in contesting the internal differentiations of EU citizenship, as well as in reconfiguring the limits through which such a regime is inscribed as such. This occurs through acts whereby exclusionary processes such as criminalisation are transformed into claims to social justice. Such claims might be said to take on new significance when developed at the European scale, since claims to social justice in this regard become 'transnational' in the scope of their enactment. However, the transnational cannot be understood in a fixed or spatially-contained sense when viewed through the lens of mobility, but is perhaps better understood as a means of questioning received ways of thinking and enacting politics that are confined to the individual or to the aggregate constitution of nation-states.
Keywords : Mobility; European Citizenship; Acts of Citizenship; Transnational.