Immigration: EU Parliament Urges the Termination of Golden Visa Schemes Run by Some EU Countries

Immigration: EU Parliament Urges the Termination of Golden Visa Schemes Run by Some EU Countries

Did immigration issues drive us to Brexit? What is the word on the streets right now?

Golden Visa SchemeA recommendation adopted on Tuesday by the European Parliament members urges the EU countries running golden visa and passport schemes to put them to an end.

The recommendations were prepared by the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) of the EU Parliament, which for over a year has investigated, found and recommended the measures that the EU should undertake in order to deal with tax crimes.

The numerous findings and recommendations include the termination of Golden visas and passports, which are run by some member states of the European Union.

Golden visas and passports should be phased out, with those offered by Malta and Cyprus singled out for their weak due diligence,” the press release demands among others.

Co-rapporteur Christian Democrat Luděk Niedermayer of the group of the European People’s Party, rapporteur said to the Parliament Members that the Committee calls for golden visas and similar instruments to be banned.

We also dealt with other issues, especially the issue of golden visas, where the Committee strongly believed that were only very limited, if any, benefits on the side of the Member States that provide this solution. That’s why, in our report, we call for golden visas and similar instruments to be banned and for an increase in transparency and due diligence requirements in the meantime before this will be fulfilled,” Niedermayer said to the lawmakers.

In January this year, the European Commission presented a report on investor citizenship and residence schemes operated inside the EU. The report identified the risks coming from such schemes for security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.

An analysis published last year by anti-corruption organization Transparency International, had sparked criticism towards countries as Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain for the way they operated these schemes.   The analysis concluded that the Golden Visa schemes are a gateway to Europe for corrupt people and money laundering.

So far, only Cyprus has approved several changes to its golden visa scheme. On the other hand, in January, Portugal turned down a bill to abolish its Golden Visa Scheme, proposed by the opposition parties. Instead, the MPs voted pro the widening of the scheme by adding a new category called “green visas”.

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