The “Ius Pecuniae”: The Prize of Citizenship

Working Paper
Athanasia Andriopoulou


When transformations of the relevance or the role of citizenship in contemporary societies occur, it has been observed that also a crisis of the citizenship institution must be investigated. This intuition confirms itself every time the access criteria to citizenship are renovated or transformed, such as in the case of the “ius pecuniae” criterion. This Latin term (in a free translation “the right of money”) describes the principle according to which a particular form of economic investment can provide for a facilitated access to residence (residence by investment) and/or to citizenship (investor citizenship). In recent years, a growing number of EU countries adopted regulatory schemes and programs that “trade” access to citizenship (direct or mediated through residence) for economic contributions in the name of the public interest of the country. This expanding phenomenon has already ignited concerns regarding not only doctrinal, ideological or ethical points of view, but also for the consequences that this criterion produces on the practices of citizenship rights and freedoms, especially in relation to European citizenship.