According to definitions of the European Commission, the terms ‘citizenship’ and ‘nationality’ are often used interchangeably to denote the legal bond between an individual and a state. While ‘nationality” is the preferred legal term, ‘citizenship’ is used more broadly to describe the rights, duties, and practices linked to this formal status. In certain contexts, the term ‘nationality’ also denotes belonging to a national or ethnic community. A major contemporary citizenship trend is the increasing tolerance of dual citizenship in many countries.

Citizenship is a multi-dimensional concept, describes a legal bond between a person and a state. the status of citizenship implies a series of rights and obligations. The most important citizenship rights are the right to vote in and to stand in elections, the right to return to one’s country of citizenship and the right to seek diplomatic protection while abroad.

Citizenship is often associated with national identity. While the possession of a particular national (or ethnic) identity was a prerequisite of citizenship in the past, the last half century has witnessed a gradual liberalisation and decoupling of ethnicity and citizenship. However, questions about national identity, citizenship and belonging have regained the spotlight in the context of recent debates about immigration and integration

In the EU, ‘Citizenship of the Union’ was established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991 as an additional
legal status enjoyed by ‘every person holding the nationality of a Member State’. Any national of an EU Member State is considered to be a citizen of the EU. However, EU citizenship does not replace national citizenship.

Source: European commission