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Onsdag den 30. maj 2018 - Strasbourg Revideret udgave

19. EU's værdier og udbredelsen af korruption og forbrydelse som følge af "gyldne visa" (debat om et aktuelt spørgsmål)
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über ein aktuelles Thema (Artikel 153a der Geschäftsordnung) über die Werte der EU und die Zunahme von Korruption und Kriminalität aufgrund von „goldenen Visa“ (2018/2676(RSP)).

Ich weise darauf hin, dass es bei dieser Aussprache keine spontanen Wortmeldungen gibt und keine blauen Karten zulässig sind.


  Monika Panayotova, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, you have invited the Presidency to speak on behalf of the Council on the topic of the proliferation of corruption and crime through golden visas. This is an important issue which concerns not only visas and residence permits, but also the broader issue of European citizenship. The granting of citizenship and long-stay visas by a Member State falls under national competences, and as a consequence, these matters are not governed by EU law. However, the consequences deriving from decisions by one or more EU Member States frequently have an impact on all the others. Therefore, I would like to thank you for drawing the attention to this topic.

Third-country nationals who benefit from a citizenship or residence-by-investment scheme, commonly referred to…

(Disturbance in the Chamber)

…as golden visas, are usually entitled to reside, live and work in the territory of the European Union Member State granting the permit. At the same time, they can also benefit from the Schengen area residence permit and the citizenship of the Member State.

Fundamental privileges and rights are attached to the European Union citizenship and residency permits in an EU Member State. The golden visa programmes matter because they might offer the possibility of misuse or are sometimes perceived as potentially weakening the fight against corruption in the European Union and its neighbouring countries. For this reason, when defining national legislation, each Member State should not only take into account international and Union law but also the essence of EU citizenship and its inherent value.

The protection of European Union citizenship is our joint responsibility, shared among all Member States and institutions. The European Union, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have already expressed their views about these developments. In your resolution of 16 January 2014 on EU citizenship for sale, you called on Member States to recognise and live up to the responsibilities they hold in safeguarding the values and objectives of the Union.

Let me also recall that, in its conclusions on the EU citizenship report of 2017, the Council addressed this issue. It invited all Member States to act in accordance with the principle of sincere cooperation and respect the limits set out by the Court of Justice when granting or removing nationality. It is also very relevant that the Commission announced its intention to produce a report on national schemes granting EU citizenship to investors. The Commission is expected to describe current national law and practices as well as its action in this area and provide some guidance for Member States. This report could help us to have a better overview and understanding about existing practices. It will also help the Council to revert to this issue if necessary. I am looking forward to hearing from Commissioner Bulc on the subject.

Let me conclude by restating the obvious. Member States are solely responsible for defining the applicable rules in this area, but because of the rights conferred by EU citizenship, we all care. EU citizenship is not and should not become a tradable commodity.


  Violeta Bulc, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank you for tabling this debate today. It covers issues that go to the core of EU values, of EU citizenship, and of the duty of sincere cooperation inside our Union. The Commission takes seriously the need to safeguard the essence of EU citizenship. While it is for each Member State to lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of its nationality, this must be done in full respect of Union law.

Member States should award citizenship in a spirit of sincere cooperation with other Member States. This involves fully recognising that the conferral of their nationality means conferral of EU citizenship and the rights and advantages this brings with it.

EU citizenship is the entry door for the internal market. If one Member State does not apply the necessary security and criminality checks, then this can affect all of us. It is for Member States to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to counter security risks. They must also apply rigorous criteria to identify and then combat criminality and corruption.

With these points in mind, I can assure you that the Commission is closely monitoring citizenship investor schemes in the EU and their applicants.

In the 2017 EU Citizenship Report, the Commission announced that it would publish a report on national schemes granting EU citizenship to investors in 2018, and we will do so in autumn.

As regards golden visas, in the absence of harmonisation at EU level, the Commission has no competence on the issuing of residence permits or long-stay visas for investors. Member States are competent to set the procedures and conditions of entry and stay for third-country nationals who wish to invest in the country and stay for longer than 90 days.

The effects of such residence permits are largely confined in the granting Member State. They do not entitle the holder to reside outside the issuing Member State, and the short-term travel possibilities are limited to up to 90 days in any 180-day period, in line with Schengen rules. The issue is, however, being analysed in the context of the Commission’s fitness check of the legal migration legislation. The results should be made available in the second half of 2018.

Where allegations of fraud and criminal activities arise, it is for the national competent authorities to investigate, be they law enforcement authorities or judicial authorities. The Commission has no competence to intervene directly on allegations of fraud or criminal activities, except in cases where the EU budget is affected.

Member States must diligently conduct those investigations, including by applying the provisions of EU law on the prevention of the use of the Union financial system for the purpose of laundering money. I know that many of you are concerned about the possible link between citizenship-for-sale golden visa schemes and money laundering. These schemes indeed may be a factor that facilitates the injection of illicit money into the licit economy of the Member State.

Thanks to the efforts of Parliament, the new Anti-Money Laundering Directive includes a specific provision addressing the need for better screening of applicants to national schemes for granting long-term residence or citizenship to investors. This specific provision requires all obliged entities, including banks, members of the professions or wealth managers, to pay close attention and perform enhanced due diligence checks when they are dealing with a third-country national who applies for residence rights or citizenship in exchange for capital transfer, purchase of property or government bonds or investment in corporate entities in that Member State.

The Commission now expects all Member States to comply with the new rules as soon as possible and will monitor the implementation of the Directive.

Integrity and the fight against corruption in Member States are key priorities for the Commission. As I have already set out, while the Commission has no competence to intervene directly on allegations of fraud or criminal activities, we expect national authorities, be they law enforcement or judicial bodies, to tackle this vigorously.

National anti-corruption policies are monitored at EU level. In the framework of the European Semester, the Commission is closely following the functioning of the Member States’ judicial systems, their fight against money laundering and their fight against corruption. All Member States are subject to an ongoing assessment of their general anti-corruption policy landscape and anti-corruption efforts.

In March 2018, corruption was indeed identified in several countries. In the Country-Specific Recommendations published on 23 May, recommendations on corruption-related issues were proposed for the following countries: the Czech Republic, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy and Latvia.


  Roberta Metsola, f’isem il-grupp PPE. – Il-popli li nirrappreżentaw huma mħassba dwar in-nuqqas ta’ sigurtà, il-kriminalità u l-ħasil tal-flus. Bir-raġun jistennew azzjoni, jistennew protezzjoni u serħan il-moħħ. Dak li qed niddiskutu llum ser ikollu impatt fuq dan kollu. Hawnhekk mhux qed nitkellmu dwar golden visas jew ċittadinanza biss. Hawn qed nitkellmu dwar ħwejjeġ li għandhom implikazzjonijiet ħafna akbar.

Qed niddiskutu kif jidħlu n-nies fl-Ewropa billi jakkwistaw passaport jew ċittadinanza Ewropea – u jagħmlu hekk mhux għaliex għandhom xi rabta ġenwina mal-Unjoni Ewropea imma għaliex joħorġu l-flus, għaliex iħallsu.

L-identità u ċ-ċittadinanza ma tistax tkun ridotta qisha xi prodott li tixtriha minn fuq l-ixkaffa.

Aħna rridu lil min għandu interess ġenwin li jinvesti, li joħloq ix-xogħol, li jkattar l-impjiegi f’kull pajjiż tal-Unjoni Ewropea, isib il-mezz kif jagħmel dan, imma li tinxtara ċ-ċittadinanza mingħajr kontroll: dan mhuwiex sew.

Jien ġejja minn pajjiż li tul is-snin, minbarra li ta importanza qawwija lill-investiment lokali, jiġifieri tal-Maltin u l-Għawdxin li investew ħinhom u flushom f’pajjiżhom għal rashom f’negozji żgħar u medji jew bħala self-employed, tajna importanza wkoll lill-investiment barrani.

Dejjem tajna valur lill-kontribut ekonomiku li kien hemm min ta b’mod ġenwin fl-ekonomija tagħna, imma li xi pajjiż Ewropew jintuża għal skopijiet dubjużi, bħall-ħasil ta’ flus u korruzzjoni qatt ma għandu jkun aċċettat.

U nagħlaq b’din: fl-istituzzjoni u f’pajjiżi aħna ħdimna fuq is-sigurtà, is-sigurtà fil-fruntieri, ħdimna fuq liġijiet kontra l-ħasil tal-flus. Ma jistax ikun li dak li ħdimna fuqu jintilef f’qasir żmien. Ma nistgħux nagħlqu għajnejna. La aħna, la l-Kummissjoni Ewropea, la ħadd. Iċ-ċittadinanza titlob li jkun hemm rabta ġenwina, u dan hu dak li jistennew iċ-ċittadini mingħandna.


  Tanja Fajon, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, golden visa schemes allow certain third—country nationals to obtain citizenships or permanent residence of a Member State, and with that they have access to the Schengen area and the internal market. They are very often highly corrupt individuals who have not been properly vetted and who may well be criminals. According to Transparency International, such practices are carried out by at least 11 Member States of the EU, and that is of great concern.

Golden visa programmes are not exclusively a national matter, but an EU matter too. We talk about the safety of the Schengen area and our citizens. How can our Member States justify on the one hand refusing to accept a single refugee fleeing war or persecution, whilst on the other being more than willing to give citizenships to potential criminals who bring a lot of money through investments, without knowing what their real background is? EU citizenships should not be for sale. Most systems for obtaining golden visas lack transparency and accountability, especially in the decision—making process. Lack of control risks potential money laundering practices and links to criminal financing for such investments. The EU must ensure that residency and citizenship by investment schemes do not undermine the EU core values of freedom, security and justice, nor threaten the principle of sincere cooperation between the Member States.

We strongly call on the European Commission to prepare proper legislation on obligatory reviews of investors and provide very clear criteria for obtaining such golden visas.


  Roberts Zīle, ECR grupas vārdā. – Priekšsēdētāja kungs, godātā Padomes pārstāve un komisāres kundze! Kas īsti nolobēja šajās valstīs šādu Šengenas tā saucamo zelta vīzu vai termiņuzturēšanās atļauju, vai pasu izsniegšanu? To parasti nolobē samērā šaurs loks cilvēku, kas saistīti ar finanšu pasauli šajās valstīs, lai arī ar nekustamā īpašuma attīstību, un viņi nopelna īstenībā virsvērtību — virsvērtību, kas nepieder viņiem, jo tiek pārdota ne tikai manta investīciju sakarā, bet arī ieeja Šengenas teritorijā vai britu Commonwealth. Un šī ir tas, ko daudziem šeit, šajā ēkā, patīk klasiķis Markss, kurš to sauc par virsvērtību, tātad lietu, vērtību, kas īstenībā nepieder šiem uzņēmējiem.

Savukārt tie investori, kas nāk iekšā Eiropas Savienībā ar šiem, būdami gan īpašnieki šai naudai, gan bieži vien arī tikai pārstāv vai pilnvarnieki, nenāk ar tīriem nolūkiem. Un tas viss kopumā veicina Eiropas Savienībā gan naudas atmazgāšanas iespējas, gan arī korupciju, un visi šie procesi, kas ir šai starpā, nav vēlami Eiropas Savienībā.

Īpaši gadījumi ir tad, ka jūs pārdodat pilsonību. Tas ne tikai izmaina attieksmi pret Eiropas Savienības pilsonību kā tādu, kā vērtību, bet arī faktiski ļauj nonākt situācijā, kad mēs pēkšņi uzzinām, ka ir Maltas vai Kipras pilsoņi, kas īstenībā nokļūst ASV sankciju sarakstos un rada mums problēmas, arī attīstot biznesu citā Eiropas Savienības valstī. Un visbeidzot — patīk mums vai nepatīk —, manuprāt, ASV vairāk ietekmē šajā gadījumā šos procesus Eiropas Savienībā un attīra mūs no nevēlamas naudas nekā Eiropas Savienība gan Latvijā — manā valstī —, gan Kiprā.


  Der Präsident. – Frau Kollegin in 't Veld, wenn ich Sie kurz ansprechen darf. Wir hatten leider eine kleine Konfusion. Sie wären eigentlich als erste Rednerin dran gewesen, und bei mir wurden hier 2 Minuten Redezeit ausgewiesen, aber Sie haben als Autorin ja zusätzliche 2 Minuten. Also haben Sie 4 Minuten Redezeit. Wir sind ein bisschen mit den Redezeiten durcheinandergekommen. Bitte, Frau Kollegin in 't Veld!


  Sophia in ‘t Veld, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, that is very generous and that’s good, because I’ve got a lot to say and I was trying to squeeze it all into two minutes. The first thing I was going to say was that if I were – let’s take a random example – a Russian oligarch and I had some criminal money that I would like to park somewhere, then I would be really delighted to hear the response of the Council and the Commission here today. Because while we are very busy building ‘Fortress Europe’ for people who want to come here to work, we’re actually rolling out the red carpet for certain other people who want to come here, get residency permits and citizenship for themselves and for their family. This is not just about state facilitated corruption and money—laundering, and I repeat that – state facilitated corruption and money—laundering – as that’s what we’re talking about, but we’re also talking about importing a security risk. I don’t even need to mention what’s going on in Moscow—on—Thames, where Russian oligarchs are bumping each other off apparently, but we’ve also seen that there is a very real risk for people who are investigating this, like the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and also like whistle—blowers who are exposing these practices, because – let’s be honest – this is just a big scam.

This is not just in some countries that were mentioned by you, Madam Commissioner, which got a red flag near their names. Even in a country like mine, we have so—called investor schemes and it all looks nice at the front door. But if you look at the back door there’s one big weak spot and that’s the screening of the applicants, because we know that we are dealing with countries of origin which are known for their corrupt systems. How are we going to verify if the candidates are legit, if we can trust them, if the money is not criminal money? How are we going to verify that this is not serious?

Therefore I very much agree with the proposals by Tanja Fajon. We do need European standards, European rules. We need a common scheme. And we do need the European Commission to bring forward legislative proposals, because I don’t want to hear anymore ‘we have no competence’. You know, you’re legislating in all sorts of areas, concluding agreements where there is no legal basis either. And this is a very serious matter because there are people here who buy passports, not on the black market but legally from governments.

I’m very curious to hear from the European Commission, because you say you are closely monitoring the situation and there will be a report in full, but I really would like to hear a little bit more about it, because it’s become a very, very urgent matter since the situation in Malta last year.

We also need more transparency from the Member States because it’s just not acceptable anymore, with everything that’s going on, that Member States are saying ‘oh no, this is a national matter, we’re not giving out any information on this’. This is about people coming into our European Union, getting EU citizenship, benefiting from all the rights that EU citizens and EU residents have. We have a right to know. So the argument that this is a national competence to cover up criminal activities is simply not good enough anymore.

We need harmonised rules. We need harmonised standards for the screening procedures. We need more transparency. We need more information. But, finally, I also think that we need to stop applying double standards because, as I already mentioned, people who want to come to the European Union to work are treated like criminals, and those who want to come here and park their criminal money are received like kings. If you’re an EU citizen affected by Brexit, for example, because you happen to live in a country that you do not have the citizenship of, then you’re in big difficulty, but if you’re a Russian oligarch, or a Chinese oligarch, then you’re fine, if you have money.

We need to stop applying double standards. This is something that we cannot explain to our citizens anymore. Our citizens don’t care about national competence or EU competence. They want to know that EU citizenship is for EU citizens and not for criminals.



  Sven Giegold, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wenn wir uns im Internet umsehen, dann werden dort angeboten Luxusuhren, Luxusjachten, sehr schöne Villas und genau in der gleichen Art und Sprache die Bürgerschaft in Staaten der Europäischen Union und genauso auch unbegrenzte Aufenthaltsrechte. Ich bin völlig bei Kollegin in 't Veld: Das ist nicht nur ein Problem einiger Staaten.

Jüngst bekam ein Investor aus der Ukraine im südwestlichen Niedersachsen unbegrenztes Aufenthaltsrecht, nur weil er genug investiert hat. Wurde da jemals genau hingeschaut, woher das Geld eigentlich kam? Nein! Aber wir dürfen eines nicht tun: Staatsbürgerschaft und Aufenthaltsrechte erwirbt man dadurch, dass man in einem Land etwas tut, sich integriert, dort alle Anstrengungen unternimmt, und nicht, weil es eine Ware ist, die man für Geld erwerben kann, denn dann verliert man jeden Respekt. Deshalb brauchen wir von Rat und Kommission hier heute klare Vorschläge, wie sie dieses Problems Herr werden wollen. Die Kommission sollte nicht nur einen Bericht verfassen über den Status, sondern auch eine Analyse ihrer Vorschläge vorlegen, was sie denn jetzt bitte tun will.


  Matt Carthy, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, it is not an accident that various golden visa schemes in the EU have been surrounded by corruption scandals. Golden visa schemes in the EU are designed to facilitate money laundering – they actually invite it. They allow dirty money to be entered into a clean economy, often through real estate with minimal checks. The basic fact that explains why the existing due diligence procedures for the ultra-rich applicants are failing so badly is because they are not designed to work. These schemes worsen inequality within states and between them. So we urgently need strict and enforceable due diligence procedures to determine the origin of the money flowing into the EU through these schemes.

But do we really want simply to regulate these commodity schemes? They foster corruption and inequality, as we know, and we should be preventing and abolishing them entirely. Selling citizenship to the highest bidder when millions of refugees in need are being turned away at the gates of the EU is the scandal of our time. Rights should not be for sale, full stop.


  Laura Ferrara, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il business dei visti d'oro, secondo una serie di inchieste giornalistiche, sta alimentando nell'Unione europea un mercato riservato a ricchi cittadini stranieri che vengono ad investire in assenza di regole standard di controllo e trasparenza.

Cittadinanza e diritti d'ingresso e di soggiorno sono diventati la merce di scambio per ottenere consistenti investimenti. C'è un alto rischio che i programmi nazionali che legano alla ricchezza la concessione di permessi di soggiorno, la possibilità di vivere e lavorare in Europa, di avere la cittadinanza e darle persino un prezzo, favoriscano corruzione e riciclaggio di fondi di dubbia provenienza, indebolendo il contrasto a tali fenomeni. Vi sono programmi che prevedrebbero il segreto sui destinatari dei visti d'oro, e sarebbero scarsi i dettagli sugli investimenti e su chi ne trae vantaggio.

L'Unione europea deve rendere efficace la lotta alla corruzione e al riciclaggio, monitorando a fondo e costantemente i programmi relativi ai visti d'oro, affinché preservi i propri confini da soggetti criminali con disponibilità finanziaria e da corrotti.


  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, la pratique des visas dorés est scandaleuse. Elle consiste, pour certains États membres de l'Union européenne, à vendre très cher à des étrangers fortunés des permis de séjour assortis d'une promesse de nationalité qui leur donne accès à la zone Schengen.

Qui sont les acheteurs? Souvent des Russes et des Chinois, soucieux d'obtenir un second passeport pour se mettre à l'abri en cas de danger ou tout simplement pour pratiquer l'évasion fiscale, voire le blanchiment d'argent.

Quels sont les pays vendeurs? On en recense une dizaine au sein de l'Union, notamment le Portugal, tarif 1 000 000 euros, Malte, tarif 1 200 000 euros et, la crème de la crème, Chypre, tarif 2 000 000 euros.

La Commission de Bruxelles était parfaitement au courant de cette pratique, mais elle est longtemps restée silencieuse, preuve s'il en était besoin, qu'elle sert les intérêts des affairistes. Devant l'ampleur du scandale, elle nous promet un rapport sur les visas dorés pour la fin de l'année. Gageons qu'une fois de plus, la montagne accouchera d'une souris.


  Diane James (NI). – Mr President, the golden visa programme is operated in a significant number of European Member States, and quite frankly, shame on them for actually being in a position and even feeling they have got the right to offer that.

A number of my colleagues have kept on about Russia and China – but what about some of the countries on the European continent that are seeking membership of this European Union, such as Albania? We have had stories in the United Kingdom of individuals there using the golden visa programme who are known criminals, already guilty of corruption and other awful crimes against humanity, and yet they are making use of this particular system. We have also heard this afternoon – but I am going to reiterate – the dangers that the Schengen system actually presents. It allows these individuals, once they are inside the European Union with their golden visa, to go where the hell they want and export their criminality and other actions of ill repute everywhere and anywhere.

This whole process needs fundamental reform, and this report does not include any seemingly reasonable or justifiable ideas or concepts as to how to address the problems.


  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Mr President, I am very happy to see this broad agreement in this House. This is very unusual but very reassuring.

Indeed, in many cases these golden visa schemes are abused and simply allow EU passports to be bought by wealthy third-country nationals, who use this possibility to escape sanctions, avoid taxes or launder money. Many examples connected to illicit financing, especially coming from Russia, certainly support this claim. Moreover, the golden visa schemes clearly discriminate against ordinary third-country nationals who live and work in the EU and yet have to wait for many years until they are eligible for naturalisation.

The standard granting of citizenship permits is a competence of Member States. I nevertheless see an urgent need for more coordination and cooperation between Member States in this field. Firstly, golden visas should be restricted to granting residence status to foreign investors, but they should not automatically offer citizenship. EU passports should only be issued to applicants who have spent sufficient time in a Member State and can demonstrate that they are integrated in its society. We should not treat the EU like a supermarket, where passports can simply be purchased.

Secondly, the national procedures for granting residence permits and citizenship should include standardised background checks on all applicants, involving the exchange between Member States of all available information on the applicant. I encourage the Commission to take the initiative in order to help Member States to regulate this area more efficiently.


  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Ich begrüße es außerordentlich, dass wir heute diese Debatte führen. Sie ist überfällig, und das ist der richtige Moment dafür.

Der Besitz einer Staatsbürgerschaft entscheidet zunehmend darüber, welches Leben ein Mensch führen kann. Wer Angehöriger einer Nation sein soll, das ist mittlerweile zum Bestandteil oft beschämender politischer Debatten geworden. Aus unterschiedlichen Gründen wird Menschen die Möglichkeit geraubt, in anderen Staaten einen dauernden Aufenthalt zu finden, auch wenn dies aus Gründen politischer Verfolgung oder wirtschaftlicher Not notwendig wäre. Lautstark wird diese Debatte geführt. Ja, in manchen Mitgliedstaaten wurde die Abwehr Schutzsuchender zum politischen Geschäftsmodell.

Gleichzeitig etablierte sich still und leise eine andere Praktik: Menschen können sehr wohl dauernden Aufenthalt finden, Sie brauchen nur über die nötigen finanziellen Mittel zu verfügen. In fast der Hälfte der Mitgliedstaaten gibt es solche Programme. Der Zuschnitt ist unterschiedlich, aber überall gilt der Grundsatz: Nicht die Bedürftigkeit entscheidet, sondern die finanzielle Leistungsfähigkeit. Alle Barrieren, die einzelne Mitgliedstaaten gegen Zuwanderung errichtet haben, sind plötzlich gegenstandslos, und die Prinzipien, die dafür beschworen wurden, gelten auf einmal nichts mehr. Das ist skandalös. Dass die meisten Staaten diese Angelegenheit auch noch offensiv betreiben, macht die Sache nur noch schlimmer.

Diese Praktiken verdienen die europäische Aufmerksamkeit. Wir dürfen es keineswegs den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten überlassen, darüber zu entscheiden, wen sie als Staatsbürger anwerben – einmal, weil diese mit der Staatsbürgerschaft auch die Unionsbürgerschaft erwerben und damit in den Genuss der Personenfreizügigkeit kommen, und zum anderen, weil dieses Geschäftsmodell gerade dazu einlädt, Geld zu waschen, und kriminelle Praktiken fördert. Das zeigen die bisherigen Erfahrungen. Die Kommission gut tut daran, einen entsprechenden legislativen Vorschlag vorzubereiten.


  Bernd Lucke (ECR). – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Ich freue mich, dass ich so viele Redebeiträge habe hören können, mit denen ich voll und ganz übereinstimme. Es gibt überhaupt keinen Dissens hier im Haus, und ich kann das alles nochmal wiederholen und bestätigen, was Kollegen bereits gesagt haben: Es ist ein Skandal, wenn Staatsbürgerschaften einfach verkauft werden, und es ist unmöglich und widerspricht EU-Werten, wenn dadurch kriminelle Aktivitäten gefördert und in der EU verbreitet werden, wenn Geldwäsche gefördert wird und wenn Korruption sich in der EU ausbreitet – darin sind wir uns ja alle einig. Aber ich habe mit Ausnahme von dem, was Herr Rosati gesagt hat, keinen einzigen praktikablen Vorschlag gehört, wie man denn nun eigentlich mit diesem Problem umgeht.

Deshalb denke ich, müssen wir darüber sprechen. Herr Rosati hat völlig recht: Wir müssen sagen, dass, wenn käuflich wegen Investitionsvorhaben ein Aufenthaltsrecht gewährt wird, dann darf das nicht an die Staatsbürgerschaften geknüpft sein. Wir müssen unterscheiden zwischen Aufenthaltsrecht und Staatsbürgerschaft. Wenn Staatsbürgerschaft gewährt werden, dann müssen wir möglicherweise auch mal einen Unterschied machen zwischen der nationalen Staatsbürgerschaft und der Unionsbürgerschaft und müssen sagen: Eine schnell gewährte Staatsbürgerschaft verschafft eben noch nicht Zutritt zur Unionsbürgerschaft. Die Unionsbürgerschaft gibt es erst, wenn man lange hier ist und wenn man wirklich in die Europäische Union und ihre Werte integriert ist.


  Cecilia Wikström (ALDE). –Herr talman! Avslöjandena kring dessa tolv länder som säljer medborgarskap i sitt eget land och därmed till hela EU, det är helt enkelt skandalöst. Det är också orättvist eftersom det bara är väldigt rika personer från tredjeländer som kan använda sig av det här, medan de fattiga hela tiden fortsätter att riskera sina liv på livsfarliga resor över Medelhavet och är i händerna på människosmugglare i sökandet efter nya chanser till liv. De gyllene viseringarna som vi diskuterar i dag underminerar också allt vårt arbete för att bekämpa korruption eftersom de premierar skatteflykt och penningtvätt.

Det är dags att sluta med det här ovärdiga beteendet. Det är dags att stå upp för EU:s grundläggande värderingar om alla människors lika värde och att bekämpa korruption och annat elände. För att bibehålla säkerheten i vårt EU kräver jag nu att kommissionen faktiskt ser över hur de här programmen fungerar och hur de används. Transparensen måste öka, och nu är det faktiskt dags att ni handlar.


  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, do you need to move swiftly to acquire a different citizenship for business purposes? Are you suspected of money-laundering and facing a little local difficulty? No problem. For a few hundred thousand euros, you can become a citizen of an EU Member State. New Zealand-born billionaire Christopher Chandler bought EU citizenship from Malta, while British citizens are losing theirs thanks to the Brexit campaign backed by his Legatum Institute. When Putin’s mate Oleg Deripaska found EU sanctions too hot to handle, he found an easy way out. He paid to become a Cypriot and was free to do business as a European citizen.

The global kleptocrats disdain national governments. When those governments sell them the precious rights of citizenship, they are undermining the rule of law. Both Malta and Britain have come to regret inviting such people into their countries. Selling freedom of movement to the wealthy may seem attractive, but in terms of social cohesion and public safety, the price may be higher than you thought.


  Raymond Finch (EFDD). – Mr President, the absolute zero point on this issue is under what circumstances a sovereign nation allows residence of foreign nationals. At bottom, it’s a question of sovereignty. Presently in the UK, our government gives a so-called golden visa if the applicant makes an investment of at least GBP 2 million in government bonds, share capital or loan capital. This gives an open goal towards securing a British passport.

In 2017, the UK granted 355 of these visas. The majority of them were Chinese or Russian nationals. Given the present geo-political situation, we have to look at whether this selling England by the pound is really in the national interest or fairness to other applicants. The absolute minimum any responsible government selling – a phrase, by the way, which just sounds wrong – visas is to fully investigate where this money came from. Surely it’s incumbent upon any nation state to ensure that applicants are people of high moral character? Otherwise we are opening ourselves up to the charge of being accomplices to money laundering, slave labour; of being accessories to the possible undermining of our own national sovereignty.

Our governments should treat all applicants equally and fairly. The ability to loan a government GBP 2 million pound, or however much it may be, should never, ever be part of that equation.


  Barbara Kappel (ENF). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, Frau Ministerin! Eine ganze Reihe von Mitgliedstaaten der EU bietet Staatsangehörigkeiten und Aufenthaltsgenehmigungen, die sogenannten „goldenen Visa“, an. Und einige davon – Malta, Zypern oder Portugal – wurden in Berichten dieses Hauses, insbesondere vom Sonderausschuss TAXE sowie vom PANA-Untersuchungsausschuss, auch schon exemplarisch genannt und dafür kritisiert. Dabei ist diese Vergabe von „goldenen Visa“ für die Mitgliedstaaten ein durchaus lukratives Geschäft. Allein Zypern hat in den letzten zehn Jahren 4,8 Milliarden Euro an Einnahmen für die Vergabe von Staatsbürgerschaften an 1685 ausländische Investoren erzielt, gerade zuletzt sehr prominent: Oleg Deripaska.

Auch mein Heimatland Österreich wird in diesem Zusammenhang immer genannt – ich glaube, völlig zu Unrecht, denn der sogenannte Superparagraf, der Paragraf 10 Artikel 6 des österreichischen Staatsbürgerschaftsrechts, sieht „goldene Visa“ explizit nicht vor. Vielmehr bedarf es der Genehmigung des österreichischen Ministerrates für die Erteilung der Staatsbürgerschaft, und die wird wirklich nur in Ausnahmefällen gewährt, nämlich in den letzten zehn Jahren an 300 Personen. Das sind in erster Linie Künstler, wie zum Beispiel die Opernsängerin Anna Netrebko, Sportler oder verdiente Persönlichkeiten.

„Goldene-Visa“-Regelungen machen sich aber natürlich durch einen Mangel an Transparenz bemerkbar – Verdachtsmomente der Korruption und der Umgehung der gemeinsamen Rechnungslegungsstandards, und das muss vermieden werden. Hier ist der Fitnesscheck …

(Der Präsident entzieht der Rednerin das Wort.)


  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, πολλοί στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, οι οποίοι με τις πράξεις και τις παραλείψεις τους ευθύνονται για τη μετατροπή πολλών χωρών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως σε φορολογικούς παραδείσους, καθώς επίσης και σε «πλυντήρια καθαρισμού» μεγάλων ποσών παρανόμου χρήματος, έρχονται με περισσή υποκρισία να κατηγορήσουν κάποιες άλλες χώρες ότι προάγουν τη διαφθορά, επειδή χορηγούν σε αλλοδαπούς χρυσές θεωρήσεις. Ένας πολύ ωραίος τρόπος για να αποποιηθούν τις ευθύνες τους! Το αναφέρω αυτό διότι χαρακτηριστικό παράδειγμα είναι η πατρίδα μου, η Ελλάδα. Η χώρα, ο λαός της οποίας υποφέρει από τη λιτότητα που του έχουν επιβάλει με τα μνημόνια, αναγκάζεται να πουλήσει τα σπίτια του σε πολύ χαμηλές τιμές, ακόμη και στο ήμισυ της πραγματικής τους αξίας. Κάποιοι άλλοι χάνουν τα σπίτια τους, διότι δεν έχουν τη δυνατότητα να αποπληρώσουν τα δάνειά τους και όλα αυτά τα σπίτια έρχονται και τα αγοράζουν πλούσιοι αλλοδαποί. Κινέζοι, πρωτίστως, Ρώσοι, ακόμη και Τούρκοι. Αντιλαμβάνεστε, λοιπόν, την τεράστια ευθύνη που έχει για αυτή την κατάσταση η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και έρχεται τώρα να μας κατηγορήσει ότι προωθούμε τη διαφθορά. Επιπλέον, έρχεται να κατηγορήσει τη χώρα ότι πρέπει να εκχωρήσει το δικαίωμα που έχει να ελέγχει τη διαφθορά και να την ελέγχει ....

(Ο Πρόεδρος αφαιρεί τον λόγο από τον ομιλητή.)


  Nuno Melo (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, a autorização de residência, para começar, é temporária, pelo menos no meu país, e pode ser uma coisa boa como pode ser uma coisa má. Depende da sua de fiscalização e o que acontece num país não é necessariamente replicável em todos os outros.

No meu caso, exige-se, do meu país, uma transferência de capitais iguais ou superiores a um milhão de euros, criação de dez postos de trabalho como mínimo e imóveis comprados de pelo menos 500 mil euros. Desde 2012, implicou uma receita para Portugal de 3,5 mil milhões de euros e investimentos superiores a 84 milhões de euros.

Obviamente que se exige um controle da segurança, uma verificação de cada candidatura e, perante cada condenação, a expulsão e a revogação do benefício. Mas se o regime for cumprido, perante a lei não será necessariamente mau desde que quem viola seja implacavelmente condenado e julgado.


  Péter Niedermüller (S&D). – Elnök Úr, már többen elmondták, hogy Európa hány országában lehet pénzért vagy beruházásért állampolgársághoz jutni. Azt gondolom, látni kell az állampolgársággal való üzletelés mára egy több milliárdos globális piaccá vált, amely fölött lényegében senkinek nincs ellenőrzése. Ha valaki ilyen módon például uniós állampolgársághoz jut, akkor értelemszerűen vonatkozik rá a schengeni térségen belüli szabad mozgás. De a kormányok ígérnek adókedvezményt, európai belső piachoz való hozzáférést, szociális ellátást is. Ugyanakkor azok, akik ilyen módon jutnak uniós állampolgársághoz, semmiféle komolyabb nemzetbiztonsági átvilágításon nem esnek át. Így megnyílik az út az Európai Unióba olyan emberek számára is, akik például azért akarják elhagyni a hazájukat, mert pénzmosásba, adócsalásokba vagy korrupciós ügyletekbe keveredtek, vagy éppen az Európai Unión belül akarnak ilyen tevékenységet űzni.

Mivel itt egy összetett és érzékeny kérdésről van szó, az S&D már korábban is sürgette a Bizottságot, hogy ezt a problémát horizontálisan, összefüggéseiben és ne csak egy-egy tagállamra koncentrálva vizsgálja. Az persze igaz, hogy az egyes tagállamok között vannak eljárásbeli különbségek. Az érintett tagállamok döntő többségében maga az állam bonyolítja le ezt az eljárást, de például Magyarországon erre szakosodott kormányközeli magánvállalkozások kezébe adták az üzletet, ami jelentős mértékben növelte a korrupciós veszélyt és a biztonságpolitikai fenyegetéseket. Különösen visszatetsző ez egy olyan ország esetében, amely egyetlen menekültet sem akar befogadni, miközben majd húszezer letelepedési kötvényt adott el. Meggyőződésem, hogy az állampolgársággal való üzletelést be kell fejezni, ez sem politikailag, sem morálisan nem tartható fönn. A letelepedési kötvényeknek nincs tényleges gazdasági vagy politikai hasznuk, csak tovább növelik a korrupciós és biztonságpolitikai veszélyeket. Éppen ezért a Bizottságnak és a Parlamentnek közösen kell fellépnie e gyakorlat megszüntetése érdekében.


  Monica Macovei (ECR). – Domnule președinte, Golden Visa este primirea imediată a cetățeniei sau a reședinței într-un alt stat, dacă ai o suma mare de bani la dispoziție. În peste 12 țări din Uniune, un pașaport sau un permis de reședință costă între 250 000 de euro și 10 milioane de euro. Printre ele sunt: Ungaria, Regatul Unit al Marii Britanii și Irlandei de Nord, Cipru sau Grecia. Sursa fondurilor investite și profiturile aplicanților sunt verificate superficial și, astfel, oligarhii ruși, ucrainieni sau din alte părți pot să se stabilească definitiv în Uniunea Europeană.

Prin această modalitate, statele din UE se transformă în adevărate paradisuri fiscale ale corupției, crimei organizate sau spălării de bani. Pe lângă o viață de lux, aceștia scapă de justiția de acasă. Migrația de lux a corupților trebuie oprită prin închiderea acestor programe.


  Gérard Deprez (ALDE). – Monsieur le Président, avec les visas dorés, nous sommes vraiment devant une mécanique qui ne sent pas bon, je dirais même qui sent mauvais. C'est une honte que la citoyenneté européenne puisse s’acheter, y compris avec de l'argent sale.

En plus, dans de nombreux cas, le permis de séjour octroyé ne sert pas à résider effectivement dans le pays qui l'a délivré, mais à circuler impunément à l'intérieur de l'Union européenne et d'y faire des affaires. C'est une rente privée obtenue par la vente d'un bien commun européen.

Troisièmement, et c'est peut-être le point le plus dangereux, on est davantage contrôlé dans le système européen pour obtenir un visa de court séjour que pour obtenir un visa de long séjour, qui va permettre de faire des affaires indéfiniment sur le territoire de l’Union. Face à cela, on entend le Conseil et la Commission qui disent: «On va rappeler aux États membres le principe de la coopération loyale». Vous croyez que les États membres vous écoutent? Vous voyez bien qu'ils ne vous écoutent pas.

Alors, il y a une seule chose à faire: il faut faire en sorte que les visas de long séjour deviennent une responsabilité collective, comme c’est le cas pour les visas de court séjour.


  Der Präsident. – Ich darf noch einmal darauf hinweisen, dass Zustimmungs- oder Missfallensbekundungen von der Tribüne nicht zu den Gepflogenheiten eines Parlaments gehören.


  Eva Joly (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, plus de douze États membres ont mis en place des programmes d’acquisition de la citoyenneté en échange d’investissements. En réalité, ces programmes permettent aux criminels et aux fraudeurs de blanchir leur argent, de se refaire une virginité et d’importer leur trafic au sein de l’espace Schengen.

Au Portugal, les visas dorés sont au cœur d’un immense scandale de corruption. À Malte, en Lituanie et à Chypre, ils permettent aux oligarques russes d’échapper aux sanctions. Ils peuvent aussi permettre aux citoyens français d’échapper aux radars du fisc. Oui, les États sont souverains en matière d’attribution de la nationalité, mais quand l’espace européen de liberté, de justice et de sécurité est menacé, l’Union européenne se doit d’agir.

Il est inacceptable de laisser des investisseurs se déplacer librement dans l’espace Schengen, alors que le contrôle de l’origine de leur argent est souvent insuffisant. L’espace Schengen nécessite confiance et solidarité. Les visas dorés le compromettent. C’est pourquoi la Commission doit, sinon les interdire, au moins les encadrer.


  Luděk Niedermayer (PPE). – Mr President, let me start by saying that I am a proud Czech as well as a proud European. Europe for me means history, values and principles. They can help us to build a better future together, so we should not lose them, we should keep them. The selling of passports or residency for thousands of euros is surely not consistent with these values at all. I firmly believe that such a policy undermines the fairness of our society, creates a lot of economic problems, and downgrades, relativises or seriously undermines the achievements of our Europe. Sometimes it is associated with financial wrongdoings, criminal risk or at least an increase in real estate prices for residents.

If you put into your computer search engine a question about the best passports for sale, you can be almost sure that among the top ten countries, you will find two, three or four EU Member States, not excluding our Presidency. Some passports and residencies in the EU are cheap and some of them are expensive but very beneficial. As has been said, this is not a national matter – because whoever gets them has access to the Schengen area. There are very strong reasons to reconsider this practice, so I believe that if the Council acts in a sincere way, we will move forward and the situation where we are at the top of the list of passport sales will be in the past.


  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Mr President, whatever one may think, whether for or against, ‘golden’ schemes by governments to grant citizenship, residence permits or visas constitute legitimate tools of policy. Under globalisation, direct investment is being sucked away from the smaller peripheral economies towards the centre of the larger economic systems. Through ‘golden’ schemes, smaller economies seek to attract investment to their territory by giving a personal stake in it to agents having some control over investment flows. Obviously these persons will have their reasons for joining ‘golden’ schemes – some acceptable and others not.

We have hysterical claims even here by some who, whiter than snow, insist that this is an abuse of European citizenship and that it promotes criminality. The truth is that most states have practised, or now practise, some form of ‘golden’ scheme. Most do it in a non-programmed way, at least on the outside: the schemes lack rules; decisions are informal and announcements are hidden, so nobody protests. Do—gooders and parts of the international media attack only those countries like Malta and Cyprus which have open, advertised programmes.

Speaking for Malta, the process of assessing applicants for its ‘golden’ scheme is extremely rigorous. I asked to see how it is done and I was impressed – and still am – by its rigour. Yes, mistakes may be made. When detected they are corrected. Whoever here knows to the contrary, let him or her submit cases, not wild accusations. Argue for reasonable parameters to define golden schemes, both formal and informal, plus due diligence in implementation; argue for total transparency applicable to all schemes, formal and informal; but do not create scapegoats. If money laundering is really the problem that upsets you …

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR). – Arvoisa puhemies, kultaiset viisumit eli rahaa ja investointeja vastaan myönnetyt passit ja oleskeluluvat ovat muodostuneet monelle EU-maalle miljardiluokan bisnekseksi. Niihin liittyy kuitenkin myös suuri korruption ja rahanpesun riski. Hakijoille tehtyjen puutteellisten taustaselvitysten johdosta turvallisuusuhatkin ovat mahdollisia.

On moraalisesti ongelmallista, että ihmiset asetetaan eriarvoiseen asemaan varallisuuden perusteella. Kultaisten viisumien avulla varakkaat sijoittajat saavat oleskeluluvan tavallista työviisumin hakijaa huomattavasti helpommin. Hakijoiden taustat ja investoitavien varojen alkuperä olisi aina voitava selvittää hyvin tarkasti, jotta voidaan varmistua siitä, ettei järjestelmää käytetä rikollisen toiminnan edistämiseen, kuten rahanpesuun, veronkiertoon tai terrorismin rahoittamiseen.

Kultaisten viisumien kaltaiset järjestelyt vaikuttavat vapaan liikkuvuuden johdosta koko Schengen-alueeseen. Siksi toivon komissiolta tiukkaa otetta järjestelmän ongelmiin puuttumisessa.


  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Señor presidente, los regímenes de concesión de residencia a cambio de inversiones son un auténtico escándalo, porque no tenemos control de dónde viene el dinero. Básicamente, es una política que lo que hace es que a gente que quiere venir a la Unión Europea a ganarse el pan honradamente no la dejamos entrar, y a gente que trae el dinero que no sabemos de dónde les damos permisos de residencia.

Además, tengo que decir que en España, donde desde 2013 hemos dado hasta treinta mil visados, estamos liderando esta cuestión con dos problemas identificados muy graves. El primero es el impacto en el mercado inmobiliario. Se ha permitido que entre dinero en el mercado inmobiliario, favoreciendo a las promotoras, pero con una incidencia en el precio de la vivienda muy, muy negativo para la mayoría de la ciudadanía. Y luego, en el tema de la procedencia del dinero, en el caso español, el primer país de procedencia del dinero es China. Y en China está prohibido sacar más de cincuenta mil dólares del país. ¿Cómo es posible que vengan después inversores chinos a España a invertir, a cambio de residencia, quinientos mil, un millón de euros?

Es un auténtico escándalo y, por eso, le pedimos a la Comisión, por favor, que actúe y elabore un marco legal europeo para atajar esta cuestión.


  Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (PPE). – Señor presidente, como se sabe, hay Estados que ofrecen «visados de oro» a cambio de una inversión económica que oscila entre doscientos cincuenta mil y diez millones de euros. De este modo, ciudadanos de terceros países obtienen un permiso de residencia que, dependiendo del Estado miembro que lo concede, otorga libertad de circulación, ventajas fiscales, acceso al mercado único o ciudadanía.

Pero han sido investigados por la OCDE. Lo han sido por posible abuso con el propósito de evadir impuestos. Estas investigaciones han detallado cómo los «visados de oro» se utilizan para debilitar la lucha contra la corrupción en la Unión Europea y sus países vecinos. El fenómeno se ha incrementado en los últimos seis años, impulsado sobre todo por millonarios de China, Rusia, Libia, Irán o Venezuela ansiosos por hallar un lugar seguro para su dinero y un pasaporte que les ahorre trámites en caso de tener que abandonar raudos sus países de origen.

Los «visados de oro» que se conceden a cambio de una inversión determinada han resultado estar ligados, en muchos casos, al blanqueo, a la corrupción y a la delincuencia organizada. Y, por lo tanto, a la financiación de todo tipo de actividades ilícitas, como el narcotráfico y el terrorismo. Pues bien, yo, junto con otros diputados, digo: «A ciudadanía europea, legislación europea». Soy el ponente para el Reglamento (CE) n.º 539/2001 del Consejo, que se refiere a la concesión de visados. En este sentido, señora comisaria, le propongo que lancen una iniciativa legislativa modificando puntualmente ese Reglamento y subordinando a todos los Estados miembros al cumplimiento del mismo.


  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, preocupações securitárias dominam a gestão das fronteiras da União Europeia, mas apenas quanto a migrantes e refugiados, das pessoas mais vulneráveis do mundo. Para ricos e poderosos, criminosos e corruptos, vários Estados—Membros, incluindo o meu, abriram vergonhosamente canais seguros para acederem à residência e à cidadania da União Europeia através de vistos gold e venda direta de nacionalidade.

Nos últimos cinco anos, tenho alertado autoridades nacionais e europeias de que esses esquemas incentivam o abuso de corrupção de funcionários políticos e todo o tipo de intermediários, como o julgamento em Portugal de um ministro e outros altos quadros do Estado o demonstra. São uma ameaça à organização, à integridade do sistema financeiro e à segurança dos nossos cidadãos, atraem cleptocratas, organizações criminosas que procuram abrigo na União Europeia para branquear capitais.

As our inquiry into the Panama Papers demonstrated, due diligence about big applicants is perfunctory. Banks even offer credits to obfuscate the origin of the money transfers involved. These schemes also exacerbate the gulf between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Transnational networks that market such schemes to Russian, Chinese and other rich people that they designate as global citizens, such as Henley and Partners, the Arton Group that hires Mr Durão Barroso for promotional events, the Big 4, and so on, need to be scrutinised in their activities, profits, processes and contracts binding EU governments, that even compel prime ministers to go on roadshows selling European citizenship, as does the Prime Minister of Malta. This race to the bottom has to end. The Commission and the Council must act.


  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Poštovani predsjedavajući, u temelju državljanstva nalaze se zajednički identitet i vrijednosti koje se svaki državljanin obvezuje poštivati i čuvati. Nisam pobornica trgovine državljanstvom i tzv. zlatnih viza, ali poštujem pravo članica da ih kao suverene države dodijele kome god žele.

Budući da su zlatne vize i državljanstva dodijeljena raznim inozemnim dužnosnicima i investitorima često način da oni izbjegnu kazneni progon u matičnoj zemlji, a nerijetko predstavljaju i sigurnosnu prijetnju jer olakšavaju sponzoriranje terorizma, kontrola mora postojati.

Pravo pojedine države da dodijeli državljanstvo ili zlatnu vizu ne smije ugrožavati vladavinu prava i interese drugih članica. Zato smatram da se o ovakvim državljanstvima i vizama, naravno uz zaštitu osobnih podataka, mora obavijestiti sve ostale članice i partnerske države s kojima imamo bezvizni režim.


  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – Voorzitter, elf lidstaten in de Europese Unie hebben programma's die verblijfsvergunningen verlenen aan buitenlandse investeerders. Laat me duidelijk stellen dat ik dat niet per se een slechte zaak vind. Integendeel, dergelijke programma's kunnen een manier zijn om waardevolle investeringen aan te trekken en ondernemerschap aan te moedigen.

Maar het verlenen van burgerschap kan niet met twee maten en gewichten, en daarom zijn we hier vanmiddag. Als het uittrekken van deze visa niet gepaard gaat met afdoende integriteitscontroles, dan lopen we het risico criminelen en witwascarrousels vrij spel te geven. Dan is het zuiver verkopen aan de hoogste bieder.

Ik ben me er ten volle van bewust dat het verlenen van staatsburgerschap een exclusieve zaak van een lidstaat is, maar toch heeft Europa het recht om zich hierover uit te spreken. Wat één lidstaat beslist, heeft gevolgen voor ons allemaal. Met het staatsburgerschap verkrijgt men namelijk automatisch toegang tot de interne markt en kan men genieten van onze vrijheden.

Dit is natuurlijk niet toevallig het ultieme verkoopargument bij dergelijke constructies. En daar wringt net de schoen. Het is compleet absurd dat we geen flauw idee hebben aan wie en op welke manier het Europees burgerschap wordt uitgereikt.

Dus laat me duidelijk zijn. Er is in principe niets verkeerd met een gouden visumprogramma, maar lidstaten moeten hun verantwoordelijkheid in deze nemen. Criminelen die met geld staan te zwaaien zo een vrijgeleide geven om via die programma's hun fondsen wit te wassen, dat kan echt niet door de beugel.

Binnen de Commissie financiële misdrijven, belastingontduiking en belastingontwijking moeten we deze programma's grondig tegen het licht te houden. We moeten weten wie die visa krijgen, volgens welke criteria dat gebeurt en hoe het voorafgaand onderzoek hierover precies verloopt. Dat zijn we aan de Europese burgers verschuldigd.


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Mr President, golden visas, residence and citizenship look like issues which belong to the national legislation of the Member States. But they are not – and they never have been since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force – because they fall under a common European visa policy and European legislation. Golden visas have a negative impact on the status of EU residence and citizenship. They have a negative impact on the common fight against corruption, money laundering and fiscal unfairness. European residence or citizenship should not be bought in a black market or sold out by Member States’ governments. Finally, they have a negative impact on equal rights, equality before the law, because they benefit the rich, and they are an offence against most fundamental EU values.

My conclusion is clear, crystal clear. A new European visa code and a common European strategy are needed in order to fight against not only corruption but also tax evasion, fraud, fiscal fairness and fairness for all.


(Die Sitzung wird um 16.06 Uhr wegen eines Feueralarms unterbrochen.)



Seneste opdatering: 6. september 2018Juridisk meddelelse - Databeskyttelsespolitik