EU Calls for Stricter Rules in Citizenship by Investment Programs
In a groundbreaking development following a recent gathering in Brussels, the European Union (EU) has called upon countries that provide citizenship by investment (CBI) programs to implement stricter regulations to enhance security and safety in the European region, according to a reliable source within the EU Commission in Brussels.
To ensure the effective enforcement of these measures, the EU has appointed Ms. Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, known for her expertise and dedication, to lead an oversight committee responsible for monitoring these third-country programs over a six-month period. This move demonstrates the EU’s genuine commitment to upholding the principles they have advocated for some time now. The official shared this information on the condition of anonymity.
The EU Commission has outlined several guidelines that they recommend for countries offering CBI Programs:
- Enhanced Due Diligence: Countries should conduct thorough background checks on all CBI applicants. To ensure impartiality and professionalism, these due diligence processes should be carried out by reputable international firms based in the EU, US, or UK.
- Mandatory Applicant Interviews: All CBI applicants should undergo mandatory interviews to gain deeper insights into their intentions and credibility. These interviews can be conducted in person or through trusted online platforms, providing a transparent and accessible evaluation process.
- Secure Delivery of Citizenship Documents: Official citizenship documents and passports should not be sent to new citizens via regular mail services. Instead, countries should utilize secure and reliable methods for delivery, reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.
- Increased Investment Thresholds: The minimum investment required for CBI applicants should be raised, with a suggested minimum of US $200,000 for donation-based applications and US $400,000 for real estate investments. This ensures that only individuals capable of contributing significantly to the host country are considered for citizenship.
- Direct Transfer of Investment Funds: All investment funds should be transferred directly to the host country, avoiding any diversion to accounts in other countries. This measure promotes transparency, traceability, and legitimate use of funds, while preventing potential misuse of the program for illegal activities.
- Ethical Promotion of Citizenship: Countries offering CBI programs should refrain from promoting citizenship primarily based on the benefits of visa-free access to the EU or other countries. Instead, the focus should be on emphasizing the long-term commitment and responsibilities that come with citizenship.
These principles have been introduced to ensure that countries with CBI programs maintain or implement high standards in their operations. The EU Commission is determined to send a clear message to these countries, insisting on robust mechanisms to protect the EU and its citizens.
The Commission highlights the importance of enhanced due diligence, strict investment criteria, and responsible handling of citizenship documents to preserve the integrity of these programs and align them with international laws and standards.
Under the guidance of Ylva Johansson, the specialized committee will oversee the implementation of these principles, working towards preventing any misuse or abuse of CBI programs.
In summary, these recommended principles aim to enhance security, transparency, and integrity in CBI programs, striking a balance between economic opportunities and ethical considerations.