According to the declaration of vote of Portuguese Communist MEPs João Pimenta Lopes and Sandra Pereira, the Parliament report “although it considers that 'regimes for granting nationality on the basis of financial investment (…) are objectionable from an ethical point of view, in practical terms, make it possible to prolong its validity”.
The EP on Wednesday passed a resolution demanding the end of citizenship-by-investment regimes, golden passports, and tighter regulation of residency regimes, golden visas, stressing that they should not be granted to Russian oligarchs.
The report that produced the legislative initiative was approved with 595 votes in favour, 12 against and 74 abstentions. Among the votes against were those of the PCP MEPs.
“In fact, the expression of intention regarding the 'progressive elimination, at the European Union (EU) scale, of citizenship regimes through investment by 2025' is just that. In practice, the validity of these regimes is prolonged, without effective guarantees as to their end”, maintained the parliamentarians.
In the eyes of communist MEPs, the proposal “translates the acceptance of these regimes, regulating them”, and also “guarantees the usurpation of a sovereign competence” of the Member States.
In the declaration of vote, those elected to the PCP also criticised the proposed “adjustment mechanism”, through which “Member States are required to pay” to Brussels a “significant percentage of the investments made” under the schemes in question.
“While the intention is expressed to put an end to these regimes, it seeks to divert resources from national budgets” to the Community budget, said the MEPs, adding that Portugal would be one of the countries “which most would have to pay”.
João Pimenta Lopes and Sandra Pereira also considered that the country would suffer a “double penalty”, because “not only does it suffer the harmful effects of these regimes”, exemplifying with the increase in real estate speculation, “but it still has to pay the EU, a penalty for what foreign capitalists have profited from”.
For the European Parliament, these regimes amount to “parasitism”, so they must be “progressively eliminated due to the risks they entail”. For this reason, the EP has asked the European Commission to present, before the end of its current mandate, a proposal to that effect.
This legislative initiative report also calls for the creation of common rules at EU level to harmonise the rules and procedures related to golden visas, these already referring to residence in exchange for investment, in order to strengthen the fight against money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.