The EU Justice commissioner Vera Jourová has warned that the investor citizenship and residence programmes in place across a number of Member States are putting Europe’s security at risk. She also highlighted the EU’s objection to the sale of citizenship by saying: “I understand that citizenship schemes are favourable for the economy. But this is unfair for the people who cannot afford to buy citizenship. And citizenship is something so, so big and so valuable that citizenship for sale seems for me rather problematic.”
Cyprus and Malta, two EU Member States that operate investor citizenship schemes have been named in a blacklist of 21 nations that are deemed to pose a high risk of tax evasion through the sale of passports. The majority of beneficiaries of these programmes were nationals of Russia, China and the Middle East.
On top of security concerns, Jourová also echoed issues of mutual trust and sincere cooperation by highlighting that national citizenship of each Member States grants access to the rights of EU citizenship.
For further information on investor citizenship, consult our Working Paper “Should citizenship be for sale?” and Jelena Dzankic’s comparative studies on investor citizenship worldwide and in the European Union.