ECONOMY

EU pondering phaseout of golden passport schemes

EU pondering phaseout of golden passport schemes

The European Parliament is set to approve on Wednesday a report urging the EU to ban golden passport schemes by 2025 and immediately stop the issuance of visas and passports to rich Russians in exchange for investments. 

The golden passport industry, which between 2011 and 2019 generated investments in EU countries of over 20 billion euros, is currently almost entirely unregulated in the EU, despite many countries having run these schemes for years. 

EU states such as Malta and Cyprus have made huge profits with their schemes, and the European Commission’s vice president overseeing financial policy, Valdis Dombrovskis, set up a successful residence investment program in Latvia when he was prime minister there at the beginning of the last decade. 

EU lawmakers say in their report that ending such schemes could have a significant economic impact in some countries. 

They are therefore proposing the gradual phaseout of golden passport schemes and tight rules for residence arrangements, including much more rigorous checks on applicants. [Reuters]