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Anjum Shabbir
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20th October 2020
Employment & Immigration Institutional law Internal Market Justice & Litigation Tax

Infringement procedures opened against Cyprus and Malta for ‘selling’ EU citizenship

It has been announced today by the European Commission that it is launching infringement procedures against Cyprus and Malta by issuing letters of formal notice regarding their investor citizenship schemes, also referred to as ‘golden passport' schemes. Recently, President von der Leyen stated in the State of the Union Address of 16 September 2020, that European values are not for sale.

In the Commission’s view, issuance of Maltese and Cypriot passports - and therefore EU citizenship - in exchange for payment alone (to wealthy investors), without requiring a genuine link with the Member State breaches Article 4(3) TEU, and undermines Article 20 TFEU and the essence of EU citizenship.

It noted that when a Member State awards

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