by Alessandra Silveira (Editor) and Nataly Machado (Master's student in EU Law, UMinho)
“This is a time to take part
Time of parted humans (…)
The laws are not enough
The lilies do not arise from the law”[i]
(“Our time”, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, 1902-1987)
In a poem written during the horrors of the Second World War, the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade depicted one of those historic moments in which people and institutions must take up a political position, to take sides[ii]. At a time when the European Union “is going through an unprecedented public health crisis, to which the Member States must answer by demonstrating equally unprecedented solidarity”[iii], in the JD case, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was asked about the extent of the social assistance which a host Member State must provide to a former migrant worker seeking employment who is the primary carer of his two children attending school in that State.
This judgment helps us to unravel the public reason of the European Union, i.e., the criteria/standards by which we can seek the legitimacy of the exercise of power. As John Rawls explained, “[t]he idea of public reason specifies at the deepest level the basic moral and political values that are to determine a constitutional democratic government’s relation to its citizens and their relation to one another. In short, it concerns how the political relation is to be understood”[iv].Continue reading “European citizenship in the recent JD judgment: on the public reason of the “Union based on the rule of law””