Seven UK nationals, including New Europeans member and competition lawyer Dr Alexandra von Westernhagern, are asking the EU's General Court of the Court of Justice to confirm their understanding of EU citizenship as a personal, fundamental right that cannot be removed.
We are expecting the case to be heard in March. The outcome will not only have a fundamental impact on UK nationals. If successful it would mean UK citizens will enjoy the same rights they had before Brexit.
In an article for Euractiv, Dr Ulrike Guerot, from New Europeans' partner organisation EU Democracy Lab in Berlin, said:
"Whether EU citizenship is a permanent status is a question of principle which rests upon the nature of the EU. Is it a Union for its member states only? Or is it also a Union for and between the people(s) of Europe?"
Commenting further, Roger Casale, Executive director of New Europeans, said: "This is a very important case and whatever the outcome it will strengthen our campaign for a more inclusive approach to EU citizenship by the EU institutions. UK nationals should not just be prevented from losing their EU citizenship rights once they have acquired them, the EU also needs to open up pathways to EU citizenship for other third coutnry nationals, for example , permanent residents in the EU."
Roger Casale went to say:
"We know that there have been many disappointments with legal challenges in the past despite the wonderful efforts of lawyers such as New Europeans member Julien Fouchet in Bordeaux."
"What is important is that we keep fighting for an EU that lives up to its self-declared ambition to be a union of citizens and that is exactly what we intend to do at New Europeans with the help of our members and friends."
"Each legal challenge shines a light on the gap between the EU's ambition to be a union of citizens and the reality which it is still predominantly a union of states."