According to Věra Jourová, the EU justice commissioner, Europe’s security is being put at risk by golden visa programmes that allow certain EU states to sell citizenship or residency. The commissioner was marking the first anniversary of the death of the anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a car bomb attack in Malta following her investigation into corruption in Malta. She described the assassination as a “game changer” and seems indirectly to link it to states selling citizenship to potentially “dangerous individuals". She also said that the investor migration programmes are problematic and unfair and that “we have legitimate concerns, because if in one country a dangerous person gets citizenship, he gets citizenship for the whole of Europe". Read the whole article in the Guardian.
The commissioner's warning echo's my own concern last year in an article about the broader consequences of events in Malta: "While the assassination of Ms Galizia is under investigation and may be completely unrelated to Malta's 2nd passport industry, the question is if and how this tragic event and the negative publicity could cast a cloud over Malta's highly lucrative €6 billion Individual Investor Programme"https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/setback-maltas-cbi-scheme-johann-vanrooyen-1/.
Time will tell whether Jourová's anger at Malta and her pending report will recommend much tighter controls on all EU-based schemes. However, my concern is that her concern seems to be directed only at the few thousand Golden Visa holders entering Europe each year. She completely ignores the much bigger danger posed by the close to two millionrefugees and economic migrants who have moved to Europe during past three years. Half are economic migrants with no right to asylum, but the overall deportation rate is about 3% of all asylum claimants and only 20% of rejected claimants. Most refugees and economic migrants will eventually become residents and citizens, without much, if any, due diligence. Why would this not be of concern to the EU commissioner?