FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday it was launching legal action against Cyprus and Malta over their investor citizenship programmes that are sometimes referred to as “golden passport” schemes.
The European Commission said in a statement that the decision was taken because the two member states granted nationality – and thereby EU citizenship – in exchange for a pre-determined payment or investment and without a genuine link with the country concerned.
“There cannot be a weak link in EU efforts to curb corruption and money laundering. EU passports cannot be for sale,” Values and Transparency Commissioner Vera Jourova said on Twitter after the announcement by the European Commission.
Malta, with a population of 420,000,