The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) today voted to approve the text of MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld’s proposal report to the European Commission.
At the end of last month, IMI covered the more salient points of the report, which, among other recommendations, proposed to
- Impose “at least” a 50% tax on the program host country on revenues they raise through residence by investment programs;
- Discourage countries outside the EU from operating investment migration programs by making visa-free travel and (where applicable) EU accession contingent on not operating them;
- Prohibit private associations from lobbying the EU on RCBI-policy, a resolution to which the IMC’s protested fervently, pointing out that it practically ban its core activities, which are legitimate;
- Prohibit RCBI-firms from assisting governments in implementing residence by investment programs, which would effectively put an end to the industry’s government advisory business;
- Impose EU-level licensing requirements for investment migration practitioners, subject to biannual renewals at the discretion of the European Commission itself;
- Prohibit the marketing of investment migration programs;
- Implement a system of periodic undercover sting operations, orchestrated by the EU, to identify investment migration companies not following the rules;
- Implement a system whereby the program’s host-state must effectively gain the pre-approval of other EU member states before approving an application;
- Organize house calls to make sure RBI program investors are physically present in the residencies they have bought or leased in the program country;
- Impose restrictions on which types of investment classes EU countries can include as qualifying investment categories, with special emphasis on “green and digital growth” investments.
Today, the LIBE Committee approved the above proposals with 61 votes in favor, three against, and five abstentions.
What happens next?
Members of the European Parliament will debate the proposals of in ‘t Veld’s report during its next plenary session, which is scheduled to take place between the 7th and 10th of March. Should the European Parliament’s plenary vote to endorse the proposals in the report, they will be forwarded to the European Commission – the EU’s executive branch – for consideration. The Commission will then have the choice of either preparing legislative proposals based on the report or providing a justification for why it will not do so.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.