Member states must stop selling EU passports immediately, MEPs demand

(Ethan Wilkinson, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


EU citizenship cannot be traded as a commodity, according to a majority of speakers, who want to end the “golden passports” schemes currently in place in some member states.

In a plenary debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, MEPs stressed the inherent risks that these programmes give rise to, namely money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. They insisted that Europe must not have “a fast-track entrance for criminals”.

MEPs underlined that granting EU citizenship to third-country nationals without proper checks and transparency has negative consequences in other member states, eroding mutual trust and undermining common values.

Several speakers referred to the recent scandal in Cyprus, where high-ranking officials – including the Speaker of the national parliament – were secretly recorded offering to assist a fictional Chinese executive with a criminal record in getting a Cypriot passport through the national “citizenship by investment” scheme. They also acknowledge the Commission’s decision to open infringement procedures against Cyprus and Malta, though some complained that it has taken too long to act.

Some MEPs noted that the share of revenues from these programmes is significant for countries such as Cyprus, whilst many argued that EU values and rights should not be for sale.

Background

Cyprus, Malta, and Bulgaria are the three EU countries where it is possible to get citizenship in exchange for an investment, the so-called “golden passports”. As many as 19 EU countries operate “residence by investment” programmes, known as “golden visas”.

In January 2019, the European Commission established a group of experts with representatives from all EU member states to develop common standards and guidelines in this area. After four meetings last year, the group has so far not met in 2020.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Amsterdam is developing a fleet of autonomous boats to reduce city traffic

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

LED lights could stop turtles and birds from drowning in fishing nets

“Private” sea freight indexes hide Libor like skeletons?

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

DR Congo Ebola centre attacks could force retreat against the deadly disease, warns UN health chief

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

How smartphones can close the global skills gap for billions

The children’s continent: keeping up with Africa’s growth

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Opposite cultures: Should it be a problem?

From Hangzhou to Rwanda: how Jack Ma brought Chinese e-commerce to Africa

How to create a trustworthy COVID-19 tracking technology

UNESCO lists wrestling, reggae and raiho-shin rituals as global treasures to be preserved

One in three fish caught never gets eaten

Tobacco is harming the planet, not just our health, says new study

Afghanistan can rely on international support along harrowing road to peace, and beyond

Zuckerberg, a paella, and the mighty EU questionnaires that would stop Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook?

Tackling water scarcity: 4 ways to pull H20 out of thin air

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

‘Critical moment’ for sustainable development, UN chief tells major financing forum

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

A new approach to scaling-up renewable power in emerging markets

Ukraine’s new political order not accepted in Crimea

Pakistan: UN Security Council condemns ‘heinous and cowardly’ terrorist attacks

‘The time for action is now’ senior UN peacekeeping official says, urging support for regional force combating Sahel terrorism

OECD Secretary-General statement on Europe Day

New energy security framework will help meet growing needs in East Africa, sustainably – UN economic wing

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

Brexit mission impossible: Theresa May was so desperate that had to appoint Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary

COVID-19: lessons from Italy on public-private healthcare procurement

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Taxation: Commission refers Hungary to the Court for failing to apply the minimum EU excise duty on cigarettes

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

UN agencies welcome regional road map to help integrate ‘continuing exodus of Venezuelans’

Joris in Indonesia

4 myths about manufacturing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

What is carbon offsetting?

GSMA Mobile 360: Connecting Cities, Connecting Lives, Connecting Europe

Confronting antimicrobial resistance of animal origin

US cities are going to keep getting hotter

This brewery is ditching plastic six-pack rings to save marine life

“For my children Italy will be an innovation lab and not a museum”; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

COVID-19: Boosting aid for farmers from the EU rural development fund

Still recovering from devastating cyclones, Mozambique, in UN address, warns of global warming’s ‘nefarious consequences’

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Eco-warriors’ fight climate change in South Africa

Zuckerberg preaches that Artificial Intelligence will protect Data Privacy in Facebook whereas Verhofstadt demands the big European state to take charge

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: hate speech, dementia, Libya and Yemen, human rights in Brazil and Lebanon

The story of 2018, in 10 charts

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

‘Intense zones of transmission’ in Central and South America; the ‘urgent challenge’ of antimicrobial resistance – WHO briefing

Seeing through the mist of myths of Coronavirus

European Commission requests that Italy presents a revised draft budgetary plan for 2019

UN mission welcomes Afghan government’s announcement of Eid holiday ceasefire

Amazon: our green is turning to ashes

Here are 4 of the most politically charged World Cup games ever played

Here are 10 of the most urgent health challenges we’ll face in the 2020s, according to WHO

Malta and Slovakia: MEPs warn of lack of judicial independence and corruption

Methane levels are increasing – and scientists aren’t sure why

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s