By Uglobal Staff
European Parliament lawmakers have voted in favor of a legislative report calling on the European Commission to come up with its own legislative proposal to implement a phased end of all RCBI programs and frame some common EU rules to regulate all residency by investment programs in the EU.
The members of the European Parliament adopted the initiative with 595 votes on March 9 following a debate on the RCBI issue, and it is now up to the European Commission to prepare its own legislation to implement the will of the lawmakers.
Parliament member Sophia in ‘t Veld, who is one of the main proponents of the adopted European Parliament report, was scathing in her views about the RCBI programs, which has come into renewed focus in the EU following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“These schemes only serve to provide a back door into the EU for shady individuals who cannot enter in broad daylight. It is time we closed that door, so that Russian oligarchs and other persons with dirty money stay out," Veld from the Netherlands said in an official European Parliament statement.
She also hinted that governments who did not heel to the European parliament's wish will not be let off easily.
"Member state governments have refused to address the problem, claiming it was not an EU matter. Given what is currently happening, they cannot duck this issue anymore,” Veld added.
Impact of the European vote to phase out CBI programs
The adopted text calls for stricter background checks against EU databases as well as vetting of residency by investment candidates in third countries. It also calls for mechanisms that would allow other EU member states to object to an applicant's residency in an EU state offering RBI program, a proposal that many migration professionals in Europe find objectionable.
Caribbean nations, which recently announced that they would be shutting their CBI programs to all Russians and Belarusians, are starting to get a bit nervous about the EU's plans for a blanket ban on all CBI programs. On March 14, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda was quoted as saying in the Caribbean media that he had written a letter to the EU, urging the union to reconsider its proposal to ban CBI programs since it would invariably inflict huge losses to the economies of all Caribbean nations offering such programs.
According to official stats released by the EU, at least 130,000 people have been successful in getting either citizenship or residency by investment in EU states between 2011 and 2-10, which brought more than 21.8 billion euros in revenue for the countries offering the RCBI programs.
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