Cyprus’ nationality scheme meets transparency criteria, MEP says

Cypriot MEP Lefteris Christoforou has said that Cyprus fulfils transparency criteria as regards its scheme for granting nationality to third country nationals, noting at the same time that the country has granted 0.3% of nationalities compared to the rest of the EU countries.

Christoforou, who was addressing a press conference, today, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg said that there is a strong feeling against this type of scheme at European Parliament level, adding however that I believe that what is sought, that is to say transparency and that third country nationals do not take advantage of the nationality and passport matter for corrupt or criminal activities is not the case in Cyprus.

I believe that with the new framework in place by Cyprus for granting nationality it is within the remit demanded by the European Parliament and the EU, he stressed. If criteria are set at European level, I believe that Cyprus would fulfil those, he pointed out.

Asked whether he believes the EU should undertake an initiative on the matter Christoforou said that the matter has taken excessive proportions.

Nationalities are not granted in great volumes, at least in the case of Cyprus, he stressed, adding that in relation with the number of nationalities granted by other EU countries Cyprus has granted 0.3%.

He also recalled that it has recently put in place a cap between 0 and 700 nationalities per year, adding that in his view the matter can be managed at member state level.

MEPs debated the matter earlier on at the plenary of the European Parliament and had called on the Commission to undertake the initiative to regulated the matter.

At least 12 EU member states have such schemes in place whereby they grant either a residency permit or nationality in return for investments by third country nationals.

Source: Cyprus News Agency