Investor citizenship programs raise European Commission concerns

October 21, 2023
Austria's opposition to Romania and Bulgaria joining Schengen remains unchanged Visa-free entry to European Union countries should not be used as a commercial product that can be bought and sold; the European Commission said, expressing concerns about investor residency and citizenship programs. In its sixth report on the visa suspension regime, the European Commission said, it particularly concerned about investor citizenship schemes being “commercially driven” by providing visa-free access to the bloc. Annual reports published by the Commission since 2017 include countries have engaged in dialogue on visa liberalization in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership, as well as countries in the Pacific and Caribbean that are implementing such programs. In recent reports, the EU considers that such programs are inconsistent with the basic principles and conditions of visa exemption and may therefore pose a risk to the security of the EU and its Member States. Concerns relating to investor residency and citizenship programs that enable foreign nationals to acquire residency and citizenship in countries offering such programs have also been raised by Parliament. Europe in its resolution of 9 March 2022, along with proposals submitted to the Committee on Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programmes. Residency by investment programs, known as the Golden Visa program, offer wealthy internationals the opportunity to reside in countries that operate such programs in exchange for a financial contribution. Meanwhile, citizenship-by-investment programs, known as Golden Passport programs, are specifically for those wishing to obtain citizenship in European countries that offer such opportunities. Despite the fact that these programs provide significant financial contributions to the countries that establish them, they are often at the center of many illegal problems and are implicated in a number of illegal matters. such as tax evasion, corruption and money laundering, among others. So some of them are over.

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