Procedure : 2013/2995(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0017/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 15/01/2014 - 17
CRE 15/01/2014 - 17

Votes :

PV 16/01/2014 - 8.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0015/2014

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on EU citizenship for sale (2013/2995(RSP))

Jan Mulder, Renate Weber, Graham Watson on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on EU citizenship for sale (2013/2995(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Articles 4 and 8 of the Treaty on European Union,

–   having regard to Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas every Member State is expected to act responsibly in preserving the Union’s common values and achievements, and whereas such values and achievements are invaluable and cannot have a price tag attached to them;

B.  whereas a number of Member States have introduced schemes which directly or indirectly result in the sale of EU citizenship to third-country nationals;

C. whereas an increasing number of Member States are issuing temporary residence permits to third-country nationals who make investments in the Member State;

D. whereas in some Member States permanent residency with access to the whole Schengen Area can be obtained; whereas in certain Member States steps are being taken that may lead to the effective sale of citizenship of that Member State;

E.  whereas the Maltese Government, in particular, has recently taken steps to introduce a scheme for the outright sale of Maltese citizenship, which automatically entails the outright sale of EU citizenship as a whole without any residency requirement;

F.  whereas the outright sale of EU citizenship such as this undermines the mutual trust upon which the Union is built;

G. whereas EU citizens in particular have the right to move and reside freely within the EU, especially within the Schengen Area; to vote and stand as candidates in municipal and European Parliament elections wherever they live in the EU, under the same conditions as nationals; and to be assisted by another EU country’s embassy or consulate outside the EU under the same conditions as a citizen of that country, if their own country is not represented;

H. whereas the EU is based on mutual trust between Member States, built on years of gradual work and goodwill on the part of Member States, as well as on the part of the Union as a whole;

I.   whereas concerns have also been expressed about the quality of the vetting process;

J.   whereas concerns have also been expressed with regard to possible discrimination, as only the richest third-country nationals will be able to buy Maltese citizenship;

K. whereas it is not clear whether Maltese citizens will really benefit from this new policy, for example through tax collection, as foreign investors will not be held to pay taxes; recalls that citizenship not only involves rights, but also responsibilities;

L.  whereas EU citizenship is one of the EU’s major achievements;

1.  Is concerned that this new way of obtaining citizenship in Malta undermines the very concept of European citizenship;

2.  Calls on the Commission as the guardian of the Treaties to clearly state whether this scheme respects the letter and the spirit of the Treaties and the Schengen Borders Code as well as the EU non-discrimination rules;

3.  Reiterates that Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union enshrines the principle of ‘sincere cooperation’ between the Union and the Member States that shall, in full mutual respect, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties;

4.  Calls on all the Member States to recognise and live up to the responsibilities they hold in safeguarding the values and objectives of the Union;

5.  Acknowledges that matters of residency and citizenship are the competence of the Member States, but calls on the Member States to be careful when exercising their competences in this area; expresses concern about the citizenship schemes that have been established by different Member States, most notably the one recently established by Malta which grants EU citizenship in exchange for payment;

6.  Notes that EU citizenship implies the holding of a stake in the Union and depends on a person’s ties with Europe and its Member States or on personal ties with EU citizens; reminds that EU citizenship should never become a tradable commodity;

7.  Underlines the fact that the rights conferred through EU citizenship are based on human dignity and should not be bought or sold at any price;

8.  Calls on the Commission to assess all the various citizenship schemes in the light of European values and the letter and the spirit of EU legislation and practice, and to issue recommendations in order to prevent such schemes from undermining the trust upon which the EU has been built;

9.  Emphasises that access to funds should not be the main criterion in the conferring of EU citizenship to third-country nationals; calls upon the Member States take into account fraud-related concerns such as money laundering;

10. Calls on Malta to bring its current citizenship scheme into line with the spirit of the EU’s values or to remove it altogether;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

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