Visa-free arrangements with the European Union should not be used to attract investment in exchange for citizenship, stated the European Commission in response to a request from NM.
In a request sent to the European Commission (EC), the correspondent of NM asked about risks the program of obtaining citizenship through investments carries. In particular, NM asked if this program could jeopardize the visa-free regime of Moldova with the EU and the Association Agreement. In response, the press service of the EC says that there are countries with visa-free regime with the EU, which implement “schemes for obtaining citizenship through investment”.
“Visa-free entry to the European Union should not be used as investment attraction in exchange for citizenship”, noted the European Commission and noticed that everyone who is crossing the border, including those who do not need a visa to enter the EU, is controlled at the external EU borders to determine if they comply with the rules for entry into the European Union.
Such control is also conducted through the Schengen Information System and EU member states national databases. As the EC reports, if something indicates that the traveler may pose a risk to the internal security of the country or the public order of any of the EU member states, they may be refused entry.
“In addition, we are developing new information systems to help border guards to control better the EU visitors. These are a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and an EU Entry/Exit System (EES)”, clarified the EC.
It should be noted that after the Moldovan government signed a contract for the implementation of the citizenship program through investments with a foreign consortium of companies, NM sent inquiries to the Ministry of Economy (responsible for the project – NM) and the European Commission. The Ministry of Economy has not yet responded to NM questions sent on July 12.
It should be noted that on July 11, the Ministry of Economy of Moldova signed a contract with MIC Holding LLC, Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd, Henley & Partners Government Services Ltd and Henley & Partners International Ltd. The contract award for the implementation of the citizenship program through investments with a consortium of companies, among which is the Swiss Henley & Partners, mentioned in the investigation of the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galicia, caused an uproar and criticism civil society actors.
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