European Parliament to Lift Golden Visa Programs in EU

Members of the European Parliament from the group of the European People’s Party, on February 27, asked for the removal of golden visa plans.

At the meeting, the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Smuggling and Tax Prevention (TAX3) made a series of proposals to combat financial crime. At this meeting, MPs from the EPP said the golden visa plans are a security threat for the EU.

Ludeks Niedermayer of the European People’s Party Group and the reporter of the Parliament talked about programs to attract foreign investors as a form of devaluation of EU citizenship.

This is a visa application and private tax plans to attract foreign investors create only the marginal or zero economic benefits, while creating a security threat to the EU, Nied Niedermayer said.

Dariusz Rosati, spokesperson of the Special Committee of the EPP Group also stressed that Russian oligarchies were common beneficiaries of these visas and criticized the visa programs in question.

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Money laundering cases, including ING Bank, ABLV Bank, Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank, were linked to the Russian capital or its citizens. In addition, the golden visa programs often benefit the Russian oligarchs. Our work at the Committee proved that the Russians and Russia played a disrespectful role in tax evasion and money laundering in the EU. ”

The golden visa and passport plans carried out by some EU member states have been widely criticized recently. In January of this year, the European Commission submitted a report on citizenship and residency programs in the EU. The report highlighted the risks arising from such programs and also outlined the steps to address these concerns.

Cyprus has declined to adopt a golden visa procedure, while Portugal has decided to change the rules for obtaining a golden visa. Instead, MPs decided to expand the program by adding a new category called green visas.