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EU Citizenship, Naturalisations, and Mythical Cultural Exceptionalism in Europe Today

This essay discusses the dubious premises of ‘repressive liberalism’ underlying the policies of cultural ‘integration’ that have been adopted by a number of otherwise liberal democracies around the world. The author uses his own first-hand experience of naturalisation in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the pioneering jurisdiction with regards to the introduction of ‘cultural integration’, in order to expose the counterproductive nature of the ‘integration’ approach to the absorption of non-citizens. The essay claims that there is no such thing as a ‘nation-specific’ culture to be tested and that the creation and consolidation of EU citizenship changed the whole framework of reference within which any Member State nationality operates and should be discussed. The argument is that, particularly in the EU context, culture and language testing before naturalisation is built on false assumptions and does not serve any identifiable goal that would go beyond the perpetuation of prejudice. Since testing stigmatises a large number of Europeans and potentially undermines social cohesion in the Member States, it should be abolished
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