Brighenti, Andrea (2007) Migrants as the real Europeans. In «Sortuz, Oñati Journal of Emergent Socio-legal Studies», vol. 1, n. 1 Instituto Internacional de Sociología Jurídica de Oñati, E.
We, the Europeans. Yet, most of us – what we may call ‘mainstream society’ – are, in fact, in the first place nationals of member states who have inherited the European citizenship by virtue of our first-degree membership. Contemporary migrants are in a very different condition from the average European citizen. They have the potentiality of becoming directly Europeans. Insofar as they are free from former European national attachments, migrants are, we may say, fitter for Europe than the ‘natives’ themselves. But to the extent that we continue to conceive European citizenship merely or mostly as a continuation and extension of national citizenship, we strengthen its exclusionist attitude, not only towards newcomers, but also towards settled minorities and all those social actors that are perceived or represented as ‘out-of-place’ in the nation-state legal framework.
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