In a press statement published this afternoon in reaction to the EU’s concerns about how the citizenship schemes are operated by Malta, Bulgaria and Cyprus, the Government of Malta has stated that it is engaged in discussions with European institutions with regards to the Individual Investor Programme, and has communicated its decision that, once the current scheme reaches its maximum limit, a revised programme will be launched.
The government has begun discussions with stakeholders, all of whom have reiterated their belief in such a programme.
Citizenship is a matter of member state competence. However, the government of Malta remains open to ideas that could further improve the programme. In fact, Malta was a catalyst for the creation of the ‘Expert Group on Investor Citizenship and Residence schemes.’ This group is led by the European Commission, and Malta, together with other countries, actively participates in this forum and has proposed ideas on how similar programmes can be strengthened.
This programme is proving to be a valuable contribution to Maltese society in challenging times. The majority of the investment generated from this programme has been retained, only to be used in the event of the country facing unexpected challenges, as has recently happened with COVID-19.
The importance of such a programme for an economy that has suffered from a devastating pandemic is growing, rather than diminishing.
Malta’s citizenship programme has a high level of due diligence and is the only one with an independent regulator. As a result, applicants rejected by Malta try in other countries.
As regards to media reports on the license held by the law firm in which the Prime Minister, Robert Abela, had a stake, it is worth reiterating that this licence was revoked on the day of his appointment as Prime Minister, the 13th of January 2020.