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Question for written answer to the Commission
Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE)
Subject: Harmonisation of rules for golden visas
Rules for granting status to asylum seekers are being harmonised in Europe to ensure that throughout the EU identical asylum standards apply for granting or refusing residency status to asylum seekers. However, the same harmonisation does not exist for the “golden visas”. Each Member State applies its own standards. Non-EU citizens, mainly from countries such as Russia, China or Ukraine, can buy residency or even citizenship in EU Member States. Through the Member States, these persons acquire access to the whole EU. In some cases, it is enough to buy a house in a Member State. In other cases, “investments” of over a million euros are a condition for becoming a resident or a citizen of the EU.
Does the Commission agree that, analogous to the harmonisation of criteria for asylum seekers to acquire residency in the EU, rules for golden visas should also be harmonised?
Does the Commission agree that the golden visas schemes are likely to be used for money laundering, tax evasion or hiding criminal money?