The Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 marked the transition from the European Economic Community at the European Union, allowing member countries to strengthen their political union, economic and monetary union. The citizen and its interests within the European Union are at the heart of the European integration process.
Therefore, in addition to respect for fundamental rights, the European institutions are engaged in a number of other equally important rights. European citizenship guarantees every citizen of an EU member state four special rights:
- Liberty to move and reside on the territory of EU Member States: freedom of movement includes other forms of freedoms such as free movement of capital, goods and services;
- The right to vote and stand as candidates in municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament in the Member State of residence;
- The right to receive, on the territory of a third country where the Member State of affiliation of the city is not represented, the diplomatic and consular protection of any Member State;
- The right to petition the European Parliament and of access to the Ombudsman