Granting citizenship may have risks, but Malta isn’t the problem says Alex Muscat, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship

Alex Muscat has highlighted the benefits of Malta’s citizenship-by-investment policy which its benefits are being seen across the country, especially through multi-million euro investment projects.

On average, 700,000 grants of citizenship take place in the EU every year, of which up to 1,000 are citizenship by investment. In other words, citizenship by investment represents approximately 0.1% of the total new EU citizenry per year, he argues.

The right and the power to award citizenship or residence authorisation rests with the state concerned. This is part of the sovereign powers of a state. As a democracy, we welcome scrutiny and are always willing to improve our procedures. However, we know that our citizenship scheme is honest, fair and, ultimately, benefits all Maltese.

Citizenship by investment represents approximately 0.1% of the total new EU citizenry per year

Malta will continue to engage with the European Union to persuade it that its concerns are misplaced and we don’t rule out making changes that would enhance our scheme. We will continue to say merħba to new citizens and new talent while taking care to say no to applicants who cannot pass stringent tests. The best thing we can do is act responsibly, and that’s exactly what we will do.

Furthermore, whilst the Maltese Government is opened for new ideas on how the Individual Investment Programme can be improved, it is committed to retain the IIP scheme, infact the Government of Malta will launch a revised programme once the current maximum limit is reached. The government held that the importance of such schemes “is growing, rather than diminishing.”