From: Exit Staff
Questions over Rama’s Plan to Sell Albanian Citizenship Tabled in Dutch Parliament

Dutch politician Pieter Omtzigt has tabled a series of questions in the country’s parliament relating to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s intention to sell Albanian citizenship to wealthy investors. One of the ten questions asks whether the Prime Minister of the Netherlands will consider using the “emergency braking procedure” to suspend visa-free travel for Albanians in the EU.

Addressed to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister, the question submitted today raise a number of concerns about how the scheme will allow rich people from outside the EU to travel in the Schengen Area. 

Referring to Exits exclusive report that detailed Rama’s announcement to commence the scheme at a Henley and Partners Global Citizenship Conference in London in October, Omtzigt calls on the PM to provide answers to the 10 questions within three weeks.

The questions tabled are:

  1. Have you read the two articled “Rama to Sell Off Albanian Citizenship in “Fantastically Corrupt” Cash-For-Passports Scheme” and “London ballroom hosts showcase event for “golden passports”?
  2. Is it true that at a Henley & Partners event in London, Albanian Prime Minister Rama has announced that Albania will sell its passports?
  3. Is it true that in addition to an Albanian passport, one gets a “tax holiday” or tax exemption of ten years and a VAT rate of 6% instead of 20%? What do you think of that?
  4. Can an EU candidate country promise special income tax and VAT rates to people who buy a passport?
  5. How do you rate Albania’s decision to sell passports in view of the fact that Albanian citizens can travel visa-free through Europe?
  6. Does Albania’s decision to sell passports affect national security? If you cannot provide a clear answer, would you like to contact GISS and have them issue advice?
  7. Do you remember the wish of the Dutch parliament to stop visa-free travel through Europe for Albanians in accordance with the motion by member Van Toorenburg et al. 3 on the suspension of visa liberalization for Albania via the emergency brake procedure?
  8. Is it true that the European Commission has assessed that the formal criteria of Regulation 2018/1806 have not been met 4 ? If so, how is the Netherlands now committed to suspending visa-free travel for Albanians?
  9. Are you willing to urge the European Union again to use the emergency braking procedure?
  10. Are you prepared to consult with the European Commission on the fact that the Prime Ministers of two candidate countries (Albania and Montenegro) have indicated that they are going to sell passports because this has consequences for the integrity of the European Union? If so, when will you do this and can you inform the House about this in January?

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova and the EU Delegation in Tirana have told Exit they do not advise Rama implements the scheme as it could impact Albania’s accession hopes. In a video of Rama’s speech at the event, seen by Exit, he states that he knows the EU will not look favourably on the implementation of the scheme yet he will do it anyway.