EU Commission Sues Malta Over Issuance Of 'Golden Passports'

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th September, 2022) The European Commission (EC) on Thursday filed a lawsuit in the Court of Justice of the European Union against Malta for its investor citizenship scheme, which is also known as golden passports.

"The Commission considers that granting EU citizenship in return for pre-determined payments or investments without any genuine link to the Member State concerned is not compatible with the principle of sincere cooperation enshrined in Article 4 of the Treaty on European Union, and with the concept of Union citizenship, as provided for in Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union," the commission said in a statement.

On March 2, the Maltese authorities suspended the issuance of the so-called golden passports to investors from Russia and Belarus amid the escalation in Ukraine, but did not cancel such a scheme on obtaining citizenship by all other nationalities, the commission said.

In October 2020, the EC launched a disciplinary procedure on violation of EU legislation in relation to Malta due to the issuance of golden passports for fixed payments or investments in the absence of any real connection with the state.

Following the commission's accusations of violations related to the issuance of golden passports, the Maltese government stated that the issuance of citizenship on this principle is the prerogative of EU member states and announced the preparation of a response to the EC's conclusion. However, the commission found Malta's response unsatisfactory and decided to appeal to the EU top court.

The commission also noted that Malta remains the only state in the EU that still issues golden passports.