The Tripartite Structure of European Investor Citizenship Programs: Interests and Strategies of States, Companies and Individuals

Jelena Dzankic

Tuesday, March 8th 2016
12:45-14:45 Panel 5: Selecting the “Good Citizen”

Investment-based naturalisation programs have been mushrooming around the world in recent years and have quickly come to the focus of academic and policy debates. States formally adopt and implement such programs; they are developed and managed by private companies as intermediaries; and wealthy individuals are their primary target and beneficiaries. Hence, the objective of this paper is to discern and study the interests and strategies of states, companies and individuals in the acquisition of citizenship through a pecuniary contribution in the European Union (EU). Starting from the interrelatedness of European citizenship regimes through EU citizenship, the paper explores how the attachment of national to supranational citizenship created a tripartite opportunity structure. First, it examines how states use this opportunity structure to develop policies regulating facilitated naturalisation on grounds of ‘special contribution’, thus materialising their economic interest. Second, it analyses the strategies that private companies involved in developing such programs use to establish networks of subsidiaries and manage these programs on behalf of states. By doing so, these companies do not only act as intermediaries between the investors and the states, but also see investment-based naturalisation as an opportunity structure for enhancing their market value. Third, the paper looks at the profile of beneficiaries of such projects and identifies patterns of interests that such individuals might have in obtaining citizenship on grounds of investment in the EU.


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