European Commission urges 8 nations to phase out CBI programs

Article By Uglobal Staff

By Uglobal Staff

The European Commission has recommended that eight countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern European region, which the EU has visa-free regimes with, to phase out their planned CBI programs if they are to remain eligible for full EU membership.

The recommendation was made in the Commission's fourth monitoring report on the EU's visa-free regime with Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

While the report concluded that the eight countries met the EU's conditions for visa liberalization, it said:

 "Visa-free countries granting citizenship in exchange for investment should effectively phase out such schemes, so as to prevent nationals of other visa-required countries from circumventing the EU short-stay visa procedure and the in-depth assessment of migration and security risks it entails.”

EU body tells 8 Balkans, Eastern European nations to phase out CBI programs 

Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson hinted that the main reason for the recommendation are security concerns.

"While restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on mobility, visa-free countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership must continue and step up their efforts in managing migration and asylum and in fighting corruption and organized crime,” Johansson said.

Visa-free regime allows non-EU citizens to visit and stay in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days without applying for a visa for each EU state they visit. Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia have had visa-free arrangements with the EU since 2009; Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2010; Moldova (2014), Georgia (2017) and Ukraine (2017).

Uncertain future for nations going through their EU ascension process

Ever since the eight Western Balkan states and Eastern European nations had made headway in their EU ascension processes, there had been a buzz in the RCBI industry that investors would now be able to get more investment immigration opportunities, especially since other European states such as Greece and Portugal already offered well-established RCBI programs of their own.

Although nothing was made official, countries like North Macedonia were already said to be on the edge of making major government announcements about their own CBI program, which was expected to be as low as 200,000 euros investment in government-approved funds.

However, the latest European Commission report has thrown a spanner in the works for all such programs and one would have to wait and see what the future would hold for all these eight countries.

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Uglobal Staff
Uglobal Staff, along with its peer-reviewed magazines and conferences series, focuses on the global investment immigration market, offering the latest trends and analyses. is a media platform built to provide professionals involved with global programs with the most comprehensive and credible sources of information in digital, print and seminar mediums. The platform was created out of the need for marketplace transparency and to more efficiently connect individuals interested in learning about the global programs - either as a potential capital source or as a solution for their immigration needs. The Uglobal publication collaborates with a network of leading experts and an authoritative board of advisors to uphold a high standard in all content delivered and events hosted by the organization.

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