Why Citizenship by Investment is not an EU Security Threat

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Vera Jourova, the European Commissioner for Justice has stated that CIPs are a threat to security. She initiated an investigation of the ‘citizen by investment programmes ‘and is making new recommendations for countries offering CIPs. However, these programmes are not such a threat to peace and stability in Europe for four reasons.

1. The background of those looking for citizenship via a CIP  thoroughly examined

Firstly, to show that you are not a criminal nor have intent there is a long list of requirements you need for a CIP.  Among the certified documents needed is proof of where your funds and wealth come from as well as your address. They also ask for a few professional references, police records from all the places you have lived, bank statements, any tax receipts and signed affidavits.  Becoming a citizen through a CIP is a way of getting rid of those with a criminal background or intention.

Once this information is collected, the government gets the file verified professionally and this includes international police checks.  Thus it seems highly unlikely that someone with criminal tendencies would attempt to gain citizenship via a CIP. There are other much easier ways.

2. Many less difficult and expensive ways to enter for those with criminal intent

In 2015, more than a million illegal immigrants got into Europe, and presumably not all would have had positive goals. In 2016, close to a million people were granted citizenship of an EU country and of those, less than 0.1% came via a CIP. If Jourova was right about the threat, it might be better to look at the 99.9%; those were granted citizenship via other means.

3. Once granted, citizenship can always be withdrawn

Although citizenship may have been granted, it can be taken away.  Therefore, even if anyone with criminal intent manages to get through the system, this individual can still be deprived of citizenship if there are concerns about the individual.

4. CIP countries do not want criminals

CIP countries themselves do not want to let in people with criminal backgrounds or intent. It is not in the interests of the countries.  Their presence could be damaging to the country.  It could have a negative effect on fellow nationals in terms of visas and also trade.  Even though the CIP country could lose much financially, it would be better than risking an expensive alternative.

EU inclination for attacking imaginary enemies

A fundamental part of risk-management and functioning of CIPs is the necessary attention and meticulous background checks. All this time and media coverage by the European Commission on CIP immigrants, those who are least likely to commit a crime, is puerile.