by Orville Williams (Antigua Observer) The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) here in Antigua is currently engaged with the European Commission in an attempt to prevent the shutdown of the lucrative industry across the region.
This effort follows complaints some months ago by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who stressed that Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs) are “objectionable from an ethical, legal and economic point of view, and pose several serious security risks”.
Earlier this year, the EU threatened to remove visa-free access to its Schengen area for countries with such schemes.
The MEPs lamented the perceived lack of comprehensive vetting procedures and that the current system allows for successive applications in different member states, relying on checks carried out by non-state actors.
They added, too, that the ‘golden passports’ schemes undermine the essence of EU citizenship and should be phased out.