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Question: Question In her opinion in Ruiz Zambrano v Office National de l’Emploi (ONEm) (Case C-34/09)  ECR I-01177 [Opinion ECLI: EU: C: 2010: 560], Advocate General Sharpston stated: I regard the Court’s description of citizenship of the Union in Gryzelczyk as being potentially of similar significance to its seminal statement in Van Gend en Loos that ‘the Community constitutes a new legal order of international law for the benefit of which the States have limited their sovereign rights … and the subjects of which comprise not only Member States but also their nationals. Critically evaluate whether you agree with the above statement in light of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) judgment in the Ruiz Zambrano case and in its subsequent case law
As your helpful assistant, I am happy to provide you with some guidance on how to approach this question. The question asks you to critically evaluate whether you agree with Advocate General Sharpston's statement in the Ruiz Zambrano case that the Court's description of citizenship of the Union is potentially of similar significance to its seminal statement in Van Gend en Loos. To do so, you will need to examine both the Ruiz Zambrano case and the CJEU's subsequent case law. In the Ruiz Zambrano case, the CJEU held that EU citizenship conferred rights on individuals that could not be denied by Member States under certain circumstances, including where the denial of those rights would result in depriving EU citizens of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights conferred by virtue of their status as EU citizens. This was considered to be a significant development in EU law, as it extended the scope of EU citizenship beyond the traditional boundaries of free movement rights. Since the Ruiz Zambrano case, the CJEU has issued a number of judgments that have built on and expanded the concept of EU citizenship, including in the cases of McCarthy, Dereci, Iida, and Chavez-Vilchez. These cases have further clarified the scope of EU citizenship and the extent to which Member States are obligated to respect the rights of EU citizens. In light of this case law, it is possible to argue that EU citizenship has become an increasingly important concept in EU law, with implications that extend far beyond the narrow confines of free movement rights. However, whether it is of similar significance to the seminal statement in Van Gend en Loos is a matter of interpretation and debate. Ultimately, to critically evaluate Advocate General Sharpston's statement, you will need to weigh the significance of EU citizenship in light of the CJEU's case law against the context and importance of the Van Gend en Loos judgment in establishing the EU as a new legal order of international law. Your evaluation will depend on your own analysis and interpretation of these factors.
March 23, 2023, 1:34 p.m.
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