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Debates
Thursday, 22 October 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Serious security threats through the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals (debate)
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfred Sant (S&D), in writing. – Claims that the investment citizenship/visa programmes run by various Member States pose serious security threats would be more credible if placed in the context of cross-border criminality within the EU. OLAF and the Court of Auditors have repeatedly indicated the incidence of massive cross-border fraud in the Union’s flagship policies. This has led to their operations being tightened, not cancelled. The same could be done with respect to citizenship/visa programmes if necessary, such as by appropriate AML legislation. Allegations being made against these programmes bear no comparison to ongoing criminal abuses attached to the Union’s own policies.

Moreover, claims that the programmes contradict the EU’s values become less credible in the wider context of how all European states accord citizenship and residence rights. Some of those who most endorse the claims, have arrangements by which such rights are given widely, non-transparently and with minimal security clearance. Investment citizenship/visa programmes form part of the sovereign rights of Member States and are strictly outside the competences of the Union. Any treatment at EU level of their application can be legitimate only if it forms part of a deeper examination overall of how all states – big and small – accord residence and citizenship to non-EU nationals.

 
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