EU Starts Litigation over Cyprus and Malta Golden Passports

ЕС начинает разбирательство из-за "золотых паспортов" Кипра и Мальты
20 October 2020 Liza Medvetskaya
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Malta and Cyprus will answer to the European Commission for the sale of European citizenship.

Golden Passport is a program that allows a person to obtain a new citizenship in exchange for investment. The conditions for the acquisition and withdrawal of national citizenship are governed by the national legislation of each member state, with due regard to EU legislation.

On Tuesday, October 20, the European Commission announced the start of an investigation into the two states. Official notices were sent to the Cypriot and Malta authorities.

As expected, if the illegality of the issued passports is proven, then the EU may impose sanctions against both countries.

The European Commission will have to check if the investment programs that allow obtaining citizenship of these states comply with European law.

By the way, the EC believes that the method chosen by Cyprus and Malta to maintain the economies of their countries is contrary to the Treaty on the European Union, since these states are part of the EU, and people who receive citizenship through the investment program are not interested in the European Union.

The European Commission opens a procedure for eliminating violations against Cyprus and Malta for the sale of EU citizenship. The European Commission considers that the granting by these states of their citizenship (and thus EU citizenship) in exchange for investment “is incompatible with the principle of sincere cooperation enshrined in Article 4 (3) of the Treaty on the European Union. It also undermines the integrity of the EU citizenship status provided for in Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union." The European Commission believes that granting EU citizenship for predetermined payments or investments without any real connection with interested member states undermines the essence of EU citizenship, the European Commission said in a statement.

It is worth noting that the governments of Cyprus and Malta have two months to respond to Brussels.

If the answers are not good, the European Commission can make their own decision on this issue, concluded the EC.

ЕС начинает разбирательство из-за

As you may know the European Commission has repeatedly expressed serious concern about the schemes for obtaining citizenship by investors and certain risks inherent in such programs.

These risks are associated primarily with security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.

The Cyprus Audit Office recently stated in its report that thousands of passports could have been issued without proper authorization under the citizenship in exchange for investment scheme. In addition, Cyprus has found itself in a very difficult position due to the exposure of the Qatari edition of Al-Jazeera.

The latest video, in which journalists claim that local government officials helped wealthy foreigners, including those with a criminal record, to bypass the checks provided for obtaining Cypriot documents, caused an unprecedented reaction not only among the local population, but also the world community.

As a result, the Cypriot government was forced to announce that from November 1 it is canceling the investment program due to numerous violations.

The official press release of the European Commission is available here.
Source: in-cyprus, euronews.com
Photos: pixabay.com
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