The European Commission will very soon make a recommendation to all Member States regarding residence and citizenship permits under investment schemes, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Monday evening during a debate in the plenary session of the European Parliament over a Europe-wide ban on golden passports and common rules for golden visas.
While discussing a report calling for a ban on “citizenship by investment” programs and joint EU rules on residency schemes, MEPs and European Commissioners said “the sale of EU passports” should stop.
The acquisition of “golden passports” by Russian oligarchs was mentioned by most of the speakers.
Johansson said the Commission has already taken action, but will very soon make a recommendation to all member states regarding, in particular, residence permits and citizenship under investor schemes.
She also said the Commission has been putting constant pressure on all visa-free countries using citizenship-by-investment schemes, which have borne fruit as several visa-free countries have decided to terminate their schemes or shelve plans for new ones.
She said the Commission would do more and assured the European Parliament that they could count on the Commission to follow up on the report.
“I am considering strengthening checks on permanent residents as part of our ongoing review of the Long Term Residents Directive,” she said. Johannsson noted that people using these schemes to falsify their tax residency need to be stopped by enforcing the Administrative Cooperation Directive, with violation procedures if necessary.
“You are asking for many measures, we will analyze all these requests and, if necessary, propose a bill,” she added.