European Commission calls to axe investor citizenship schemes with immediate effect

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Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member

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The European Commission urged member states to immediately repeal any existing investor citizenship schemes and to ensure strong checks are in place to address the risks posed by investor residence schemes in a strongly worded "recommendation" on 28 March.

The statement said the Commission had frequently and consistently raised its serious concerns about investor citizenship and residence schemes and the inherent risks they pose.

"Today's recommendation forms part of the Commission's broader policy to take determined action on these schemes. The current context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine is once again highlighting these risks", it said.

Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, Didier Reynders, said: "European values are not for sale. We consider that the sale of citizenship through ‘golden passports' is illegal under EU law and poses serious risks to our security. It opens the door to corruption, money laundering and tax avoidance. All Member States concerned should end their investor citizenship schemes immediately. In addition, they should assess whether they should revoke any ‘golden passports' already granted to sanctioned individuals and others significantly supporting Putin's war."

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said: "The right to travel freely within the Schengen area is among our greatest assets. We need strong checks to make sure this right is not abused. Golden residence permits issued to Russians and Belarusians under EU sanctions should be revoked. Now more than ever, in the face of war, we must do everything to ensure that Russians and Belarusians under sanctions and those supporting Putin's war of aggression cannot buy their way into the EU."

Some Russian or Belarusian nationals who are subject to sanctions or are significantly supporting the war in Ukraine might have acquired EU citizenship or privileged access to the EU, including to travel freely in the Schengen area, under these schemes, it said.


To address these immediate risks, the Commission also recommended on 28 March that Member States assess whether citizenship granted under a ‘golden passport' scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals on an EU sanctions list in connection to the war in Ukraine should be withdrawn.

Residence permits granted under an investor residence scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals subject to sanctions should be immediately withdrawn, following an individual assessment and in accordance with the principle of proportionality, fundamental rights and Member States' national law. These measures should apply to Russian or Belarusian nationals significantly supporting the war in Ukraine.

As for investor citizenship schemes, the commission further said in its recommendations: "Any Member State still operating investor citizenship schemes needs to terminate them immediately.

"Such schemes are not compatible with the principle of sincere cooperation and with the concept of EU citizenship enshrined in the EU treaties. On 20 October 2020, the Commission opened infringements against two Member States regarding their investor citizenship scheme. In addition, the Commission has been urging another Member State to proceed with ending its scheme. Two Member States abolished their schemes in the meantime or are in the process of doing so.

"The Member States concerned should carry out assessments in order to determine whether citizenship previously granted to Russian or Belarusian nationals subject to sanctions or significantly supporting the war in Ukraine should be withdrawn.

While carrying out the assessments, the Member States concerned are to take into account the principles established by the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the loss of EU citizenship."

The commission also highlighted investor residence schemes which it said "raise inherent security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption risks for Member States and for the EU as a whole. Russia's aggression against Ukraine has once again underlined these risks".

The commission asked Member States to:

  • Establish and conduct strict checks before issuing any residence permit by investment: Member States should take all necessary measures to prevent investor residence schemes from posing security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption risks. This includes establishing and carrying out checks related to the conditions of residence and security before issuing such residence permits, and verifying whether residence is continuous.
  • Immediately withdraw or refuse the renewal of the residence permits granted under an investor residence scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals who are subject to EU sanctions in connection to the war in Ukraine, following an assessment.
  • The same measure should also apply to those significantly supporting the war in Ukraine or other related activities of the Russian government or Lukashenko regime breaching international law.
    Suspend the issuance of residence permits under investor residence schemes to all Russian and Belarusian nationals.
  • All measures need to be applied in compliance with the principle of proportionality, with fundamental rights and with Member States' national law.
The recommendation were only one element of the Commission's overall policy to take determined action on both citizenship and residence investor schemes, it said, adding that it may take additional action in the future as required.

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James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Residence permits granted under an investor residence scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals subject to sanctions should be immediately withdrawn, following an individual assessment and in accordance with the principle of proportionality, fundamental rights and Member States' national law. These measures should apply to Russian or Belarusian nationals significantly supporting the war in Ukraine.
So this is all about Russian and Belarus citizens and not the rest of the world ?
 

backpacker

Entrepreneur

------ quote start

The European Commission urged member states to immediately repeal any existing investor citizenship schemes and to ensure strong checks are in place to address the risks posed by investor residence schemes in a strongly worded "recommendation" on 28 March.

The statement said the Commission had frequently and consistently raised its serious concerns about investor citizenship and residence schemes and the inherent risks they pose.

"Today's recommendation forms part of the Commission's broader policy to take determined action on these schemes. The current context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine is once again highlighting these risks", it said.

Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, Didier Reynders, said: "European values are not for sale. We consider that the sale of citizenship through ‘golden passports' is illegal under EU law and poses serious risks to our security. It opens the door to corruption, money laundering and tax avoidance. All Member States concerned should end their investor citizenship schemes immediately. In addition, they should assess whether they should revoke any ‘golden passports' already granted to sanctioned individuals and others significantly supporting Putin's war."

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said: "The right to travel freely within the Schengen area is among our greatest assets. We need strong checks to make sure this right is not abused. Golden residence permits issued to Russians and Belarusians under EU sanctions should be revoked. Now more than ever, in the face of war, we must do everything to ensure that Russians and Belarusians under sanctions and those supporting Putin's war of aggression cannot buy their way into the EU."

Some Russian or Belarusian nationals who are subject to sanctions or are significantly supporting the war in Ukraine might have acquired EU citizenship or privileged access to the EU, including to travel freely in the Schengen area, under these schemes, it said.


To address these immediate risks, the Commission also recommended on 28 March that Member States assess whether citizenship granted under a ‘golden passport' scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals on an EU sanctions list in connection to the war in Ukraine should be withdrawn.

Residence permits granted under an investor residence scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals subject to sanctions should be immediately withdrawn, following an individual assessment and in accordance with the principle of proportionality, fundamental rights and Member States' national law. These measures should apply to Russian or Belarusian nationals significantly supporting the war in Ukraine.

As for investor citizenship schemes, the commission further said in its recommendations: "Any Member State still operating investor citizenship schemes needs to terminate them immediately.

"Such schemes are not compatible with the principle of sincere cooperation and with the concept of EU citizenship enshrined in the EU treaties. On 20 October 2020, the Commission opened infringements against two Member States regarding their investor citizenship scheme. In addition, the Commission has been urging another Member State to proceed with ending its scheme. Two Member States abolished their schemes in the meantime or are in the process of doing so.

"The Member States concerned should carry out assessments in order to determine whether citizenship previously granted to Russian or Belarusian nationals subject to sanctions or significantly supporting the war in Ukraine should be withdrawn.

While carrying out the assessments, the Member States concerned are to take into account the principles established by the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the loss of EU citizenship."

The commission also highlighted investor residence schemes which it said "raise inherent security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption risks for Member States and for the EU as a whole. Russia's aggression against Ukraine has once again underlined these risks".

The commission asked Member States to:

  • Establish and conduct strict checks before issuing any residence permit by investment: Member States should take all necessary measures to prevent investor residence schemes from posing security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption risks. This includes establishing and carrying out checks related to the conditions of residence and security before issuing such residence permits, and verifying whether residence is continuous.
  • Immediately withdraw or refuse the renewal of the residence permits granted under an investor residence scheme to Russian or Belarusian nationals who are subject to EU sanctions in connection to the war in Ukraine, following an assessment.
  • The same measure should also apply to those significantly supporting the war in Ukraine or other related activities of the Russian government or Lukashenko regime breaching international law.
    Suspend the issuance of residence permits under investor residence schemes to all Russian and Belarusian nationals.
  • All measures need to be applied in compliance with the principle of proportionality, with fundamental rights and with Member States' national law.
The recommendation were only one element of the Commission's overall policy to take determined action on both citizenship and residence investor schemes, it said, adding that it may take additional action in the future as required.

------ quote end
Stupid EU takes refugees. Asia invites investors.
Let's wait for another decade and the EU will be an economic dwarf, thanks to its shortsighted politics. I am looking forward to that day - EU arrogance has become unbearable!

The sad reality for Europeans: They have to get used to the fact that the world will become a lot smaller for them. Other (developing) nations will understand that all the conditions attached to European investments are not worth it anymore because of an abundance of "Eastern wealth" that is suddenly pouring in.
 

Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
I read several news articles on the topic this morning. Bulgaria has already ended its CBI program and Malta and Cyprus have promised to do so. The EU is now exerting pressure on the Caribbean nations, under threat of losing EU visa-free privileges. Antigua and Barbuda said "up yours," but we will see how long that lasts.

Russian or Belarus are just a convenient pretext. The EU has wanted this outcome for awhile. Having said that, if you cater to CBI investors from rogue nations, especially China and Russia, then you will place a target on your back. I am just surprised that the catalyst turned out to be Russia rather than China.

If you want a second citizenship by investment, now is the time to act. It may cease to exist in the next five years or so.
 

backpacker

Entrepreneur
I read several news articles on the topic this morning. Bulgaria has already ended its CBI program and Malta and Cyprus have promised to do so. The EU is now exerting pressure on the Caribbean nations, under threat of losing EU visa-free privileges. Antigua and Barbuda said "up yours," but we will see how long that lasts.

Russian or Belarus are just a convenient pretext. The EU has wanted this outcome for awhile. Having said that, if you cater to CBI investors from rogue nations, especially China and Russia, then you will place a target on your back. I am just surprised that the catalyst turned out to be Russia rather than China.

If you want a second citizenship by investment, now is the time to act. It may cease to exist in the next five years or so.
To see these European colonialists pressuring weaker countries into obedience is detestable.
Interesting that they do not pressure Canada, Australia or the USA who all have these programs.
 

KDX

OffshoreCorpTalk Addict
Entrepreneur
I read several news articles on the topic this morning. Bulgaria has already ended its CBI program and Malta and Cyprus have promised to do so. The EU is now exerting pressure on the Caribbean nations, under threat of losing EU visa-free privileges. Antigua and Barbuda said "up yours," but we will see how long that lasts.

Russian or Belarus are just a convenient pretext. The EU has wanted this outcome for awhile. Having said that, if you cater to CBI investors from rogue nations, especially China and Russia, then you will place a target on your back. I am just surprised that the catalyst turned out to be Russia rather than China.

If you want a second citizenship by investment, now is the time to act. It may cease to exist in the next five years or so.
Those EU powertrippers are out of their minds...

"The United States has moved to decline visas to holders of passports obtained by the CBI" Lol...

I'm gonna get out of the EU in the next 5 years, wish me luck y'all. Hopefully by then I can get out...
 
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Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
Well, just today, Latvia decided to abolish its Golden Visa Program. Malaysia, Portugal, Cyprus, Moldova, Panama, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Vanuatu, the United Kingdom, and now Latvia have either eliminated or placed far greater restrictions on their CBI and/or residency programs.

 

backpacker

Entrepreneur
Well, just today, Latvia decided to abolish its Golden Visa Program. Malaysia, Portugal, Cyprus, Moldova, Panama, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Vanuatu, the United Kingdom, and now Latvia have either eliminated or placed far greater restrictions on their CBI and/or residency programs.

Malaysia??
They only have a residency program and toughened the rules a year ago (many Asian countries did that). First they suspended the program completely, then amended the rules because they realized that abolishing it completely would have meant a big loss of revenue. This had nothing to do with any call from the EU. I doubt anybody in Malaysia cares about the demands of the European Union.

Anyway, MM2H has become.pretty uninteresting with the new rules MyGOV - The Government of Malaysia's Official Portal .
These changes must have produced a boon for the Thailand Elite Visa which comes with zero bureaucracy, can be "ordered" online and does not even require applicants to produce anything else except money.

Thai Elite even accepts BTC coo-:!y
 
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lostguy

Mentor Group Gold
I'm gonna get out of the EU in the next 5 years, wish me luck y'all. Hopefully by then I can get out...
will be following this move and do the same... preparing everything already for the last few months. It's very difficult to figure out how to go about it.
 

backpacker

Entrepreneur
will be following this move and do the same... preparing everything already for the last few months. It's very difficult to figure out how to go about it.
Do not wait 5 years though. Europeans do think they are welcome everywhere. Times are changing fast and soon they will have to realize that they are no longer Number One.
Western wealth is about to be replaced by Eastern wealth, if it has not already happened.
So, hurry up and try to escape Euro-Alcatraz as long as it is still possible!
 

RealDude

Entrepreneur
To all who are leaving the EU: Please give up your citizenship. We don't want to have to pay your social welfare and hospital costs for cancer treatment etc. from our taxes if you fail abroad. ;)
 

botero

Active Member
Those EU powertrippers are out of their minds...

"The United States has moved to decline visas to holders of passports obtained by the CBI" Lol...

I'm gonna get out of the EU in the next 5 years, wish me luck y'all. Hopefully by then I can get out...

will be following this move and do the same... preparing everything already for the last few months. It's very difficult to figure out how to go about it.

Talk about alarmism lol.

"Kids, we need to leave Germany immediately!"
"Why dad, are we in danger?"
"Yes kids, they are cancelling the CBI program in Malta!!"
"What's Malta? What's CBI?? I don't want to leave my friends and school!"
 

KDX

OffshoreCorpTalk Addict
Entrepreneur
Talk about alarmism lol.

"Kids, we need to leave Germany immediately!"
"Why dad, are we in danger?"
"Yes kids, they are cancelling the CBI program in Malta!!"
"What's Malta? What's CBI?? I don't want to leave my friends and school!"
Not leaving the EU cuz of that. But it is weird how much the EU seems to be going towards what China is. More surveilance more insane regulation etc.
 

JohnnyDoe

Mentor Group Gold
To all who are leaving the EU: Please give up your citizenship. We don't want to have to pay your social welfare and hospital costs for cancer treatment etc. from our taxes if you fail abroad. ;)
Nope. I will continue to take advantage of whatever small benefit I get from my otherwise useless EU passports, after I have paid in taxes enough money to open a small hospital. Even though, fortunately, until now the only advantage I get is quicker immigration when I visit EU as a tourist.
 

tacokai

Mentor Group Gold
Talk about alarmism lol.

"Kids, we need to leave Germany immediately!"
"Why dad, are we in danger?"
"Yes kids, they are cancelling the CBI program in Malta!!"
"What's Malta? What's CBI?? I don't want to leave my friends and school!"
don't get it sorry :D
 

Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
Not leaving the EU cuz of that. But it is weird how much the EU seems to be going towards what China is. More surveilance more insane regulation etc.

Surveillance could go to a whole new level with ideas like the below.


And yes pretty much everything China is doing with social score etc will be coming to EU at some point smi(&%.
 

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