The European Commission on Wednesday, January 23, warned the States of the European Union against the unjustified granting of a residence permit and citizenship in exchange for investment. Brussels fears that so-called Golden visas not only create security problems for Europe, but also lead to money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.
The Supreme Executive body of the European Union warned that will closely monitor the schemes of citizenship, checking their compliance with EU laws. These include compliance with the European directives on long-term resident status and family reunification.
Brussels creates an expert group
In addition, Brussels calls for a thorough check of the origin of investments, based on the existing EU rules against money laundering.
To increase transparency, the European Commission has already declared its readiness to create a group of experts from the EU countries, which will monitor the existing schemes.
With special attention in Brussels follow the practice of granting citizenship in Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus. It adopted the rules,” which are less strict than the standard rules of citizenship”, noted in the European Commission. These rules do not imply any “physical residence” of the subject in the territory of these countries or any permanent obligations to the States concerned.
Bulgaria has listened to the European Union
Meanwhile, on January 23, it became known that Bulgaria decided to stop granting citizenship to wealthy investors applying for “Golden” visas and passports in exchange for the purchase of real estate or significant investment in the economy.
To obtain Bulgarian citizenship it was necessary to invest at least 1 million leva (about 500 thousand euros).