The European Commission said today that schemes that sell citizenship and residency to the super rich, known as ‘golden visas’, threaten the EU’s collective security and integrity.
The Commission’s report states that the citizenship schemes are “deliberately marketed and often explicitly advertised as a means of acquiring EU citizenship” with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta disregarding Union Law by selling passports without requiring applicants to live in their country.
A day ahead of the report’s release, the Bulgarian government announced they would suspend their citizenship scheme.
Anti-corruption watchdogs Transparency International and Global Witness warn that the report from the Commission falls short of the urgent action needed to clean up the shady industry.
“The tide is turning on the golden visa industry with the EU recognising the unacceptable security and corruption risks they create. However, the Commission’s report tells us nothing about what Member