Call for EU-wide single passport

Attali: any citizen could obtain 'European nationality'

Top French economist says more can be done to promote 'European citizenship' with a single passport across all states

A LEADING French economist has called for the creation of a single EU-wide passport, to "put in place a real status of European citizenship".

Jacques Attali, who chairs an independent think-tank set up by the previous government to look at French growth and reform, said the new document would give citizens in every EU member state equal rights to vote in the country in which they choose to settle - and equal responsibilities to pay tax there.

Writing on French opinion site Slate.fr, Attali said: "One can imagine that any citizen, from whatever member state, could obtain 'European nationality'.

"They could cross borders - in the EU and elsewhere in the world - with a single passport, which would also serve as an ID card in the member state where they decide to settle."

Attali suggested that the EU passport would give the holder access to all the rights of a national in their member state, including voting in presidential and parliamentary elections, provided they lived there for more than 10 years.

The country in which the citizen chooses to live and vote would automatically be the one in which they would pay their taxes.

"For the vast majority of people, this country would be the one in which they were born," Attali added. "The passport would do nothing to take away people's wish to belong to a particular country."

Attali also suggested that the passport could be given to every child born in the EU unless their parents specifically requested otherwise.

The Attali Commission for the Liberation of French Growth was set up originally in 2007 and includes 40 thinkers from different fields. It has suggested a broad range of reforms and savings to boost the French economy.

Photo: Niccolò Caranti

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