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Immigration has been a much-debated topic across the European Union (“EU”) member states and institutions for a large part of the 2010’s. Debates surrounding immigration to the EU have not subsided entering the new decade, not withstanding the current COVID-19pandemic. In her recent State of the Union speech, Ursula von der Leyen, the newly-appointed EU Commissioner, addressed a controversial, albeit overlooked, facet of the immigration regime of several EU member-states: the issue of so-called “golden passports.” Countries such as Malta, Cyprus, and Bulgaria all run investment-for-passport regimes that have raised concerns, and in some cases, have led to high-profile criminal investigations. Commissioner von der Leyen briefly, yet strongly, condemned the practice by implying that it goes against European values, primarily the rule of law.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review website on October 19, 2020. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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