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Parliamentary questions
PDF 41kWORD 14k
25 November 2013
Question for written answer E-013318-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Andreas Mölzer (NI)

 Subject:  Trade in EU passports
 Answer in writing 

Under current EC law, each country can decide for itself who to grant citizenship to and what criteria to apply in doing so. Very rarely, countries like the United Kingdom and Austria sell citizenships, for example to very rich Arabs, Chinese people or Eastern Europeans, usually linked to millions being invested in the country. It seems as though more and more EU countries are accepting money for citizenships, without any local investment or residence in the country in question being required. Malta, for example, will offer citizenship to people from countries outside the EU for EUR 650 000.

Moreover, citizenships are also increasingly being ‘given away’ on geopolitical or ethnic grounds for a relatively low handling fee. For example, people with ‘Bulgarian identity’ from Moldova, Macedonia and Ukraine are offered Bulgarian citizenship. Romania also grants citizenship to people living in Moldova. Sources in Macedonia also report that, in Bulgaria, 2 000 EU passports have just been sold at rock-bottom prices.

1. What is the Commission’s view of the sale of European passports, which would also facilitate access to Europe for organised crime?

2. What is its opinion of the reports claiming that EU passports are being sold in Bulgaria to Macedonians at rock-bottom prices?

3. What is being done at EU level to curb this practice, which violates the spirit of the European Treaties?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 273, 20/08/2014
Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia