Dutch parliamentarians have initiated a procedure at the European Commission for disclosure of all documents and correspondence about the controversial passport trade of Malta, Bosnia and Cyprus. The sale of passports by especially mini-state Malta is a thorn in their eyes.
The Dutch politicians of both government parties and opposition parties had initially hoped to get answers to their questions from the government in The Hague. But because Dutch ministers apparently did not have access to that information in Brussels, they have now invoked procedures for disclosure in Brussels. The European Commission must publish all documents on the controversial trade in passports by EU member states, according to their WOB request.
The Dutch also ask for correspondence with other candidate countries. Albania, among others, has already announced its intention to sell passports in view of possible entry to the EU. The European Parliament in Strasbourg has also been asked several times to stop sales, but the EU is not concerned with the issue of national passports, even though they have legal effects throughout the EU.
Bosnia and Cyprus and Malta EU bieden buy passports for a lot of money. Anyone who purchases such a passport in a EU country will become a EU citizen with all the associated benefits in addition to being resident in that country. The passport trade attracts wealthy but also suspicious investors from Russia, the Middle East and China, among others. With a EU passport, they can avoid strict controls from banks, for example.
The Dutch parliamentarians emphasize the great dangers posed by the passport trade. For 900,000 euros, Malta supplies such a coveted document to iedereen that it can afford. They can then travel through Europe without hindrance. "As EU as a whole you are as strong as your weakest link", says CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt.
Last year, as a member of the Council of Europe, the cooperation of European parliaments, Investigation investigated the murder of a Maltese investigative journalist who had revealed the close relationship between Maltese criminals and Maltese politicians. The sale of passports was just a part of that. Omzigt's report helped to ensure that in Malta a trial was eventually brought against the murderers and their bosses behind the scenes. Even the Maltese Prime Minister eventually had to resign.
The European Commission has indicated that it will respond to the request for disclosure of all documents relating to passport trading within 15 days.