The Citizenship Law was amended by violating the principles of decision transparency. There is no evidence that the parliamentary commissions organized any public consultations or what the results of these consultations are. The bill’s assessment by the National Anticorruption Center (CNA) also revealed several flaws and corruption risks that threaten the security of the state and the people. These flaws are listed in the position statement of the Independent Analytic Center “Expert-Grup”, signed by Dionis Cenusa and Dumitru Pantea, IPN reports.
According to them, as long as there is no real economic necessity to offer Moldovan citizenship to foreign people, the politicians should not engage in projects that threaten the public interest and serve only narrow group interests. Although some of the CNA’s recommendations have been taken into account by the Parliament when the final draft of the bill was adopted, some major worries remain. These include the excessive powers of the Ministry of Economy, the short term for offering the citizenship – only 30 days, the lack of regulations for the investment fund and others.
“Even though these amendments are meant to attract investments, they ignore other aspects like the national security or protecting the national economy. The CNA says that given the migrant crisis in the EU and terrorism-related threats, simplifying the procedures for obtaining citizenship is ‘a direct and imminent threat to the security of Moldova’”, reads the statement.
The authors say that the lack of Moldovan citizenship doesn’t seem be an obstacle for foreign investors in our country. According to the experts, it’s the unreliability of policies, the corruption, the lack of access to financing, the inefficient bureaucracy and the instability of the government that worry them.
“Both during the process of amending the Citizenship Law and during the development of the Regulation regarding the offering of citizenship in exchange for investments, nobody assessed the macro-economic consequences of such a program. The strategic investment sectors listed in both documents don’t correspond to the country’s economic development goals. These sectors also present no barriers to investors without citizenship”, explain the experts. Considering all of the abovementioned issues, they don’t think the implementation of the ‘citizenship via investment’ mechanism in its current form should be continued.