The Sale of Conditional EU Citizenship: The Cyprus Investment Programme under the Lens of EU Law – IMC-RP 2019/3


This article focuses on the consequences of the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship through Cyprus’s new Investment Programme, adopted in 2013. One of the criteria for the acquisition of citizenship is the investment of EUR two million in Cypriot banks, immovable property or companies which must be retained on Cypriot territory for at least three years. However, immovable residential property to a value of EUR 500,000 must be retained in Cyprus indefinitely or there is a risk of citizenship being revoked. These criteria raise concerns, particularly in light of EU law on citizenship and the free movement of capital. This article analyses the possible violations of EU law in this context and argues against the conditional nature of the citizenship provided by the Programme, which results in violation of the free movement of capital and restricts the genuine enjoyment of the status of EU citizenship. Case law by the European Court of Justice and academic literature analysing the right to the free movement of capital and revocation of citizenship in an EU context will be examined to determine the repercussions of the Cyprus Programme. This topic is extremely relevant today, as it sheds light on the developing nature of EU citizenship and the relationship between EU citizenship rights weighed against the national interests of the Member States.

KEYWORDS: investment migration, EU citizenship, free movement of capital, non-discrimination, Cyprus Investment Programme

Sofya Kudryashova, Corporate Administrator at PHC Tsangarides LLC. [email protected] I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Dimitry Kochenov for his guidance and encouragement throughout the entire process of writing this paper.

This work has been defended as a thesis at the University of Groningen and does not in any way reflect the views of the IMC or the author’s current employer. The final polished version of it is due to appear in the European Papers (2018).

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