skip to content

PROTEUS 2023 Seminar

+++ Application deadline: March 10th 2023 +++

This year's topic will be "Golden Passes – EU-Citizenship for sale? Compatibility of marketization of EU-Citizenship with EU Law"

The majority of EU citizens are unaware of the hidden treasure that is their citizenship. Many people around the world who aspire to work for the Union greatly esteem it, as do some of the world's wealthiest individuals. Some Member States' governments rapidly realized that joining the Union would instantly increase the value of their national passports, creating a financial opportunity. Even the trade of obtaining citizenship from a third nation that permits visa-free travel to the Union or expediting citizenship through the right of residence is proving to be quite profitable. The Member State Malta being one of those countries that has a so-called Citizenship by Investment Program, not only advertising “golden visas” but also their citizenships “golden passports”.

In essence, governments are trying to sell citizenship of the Union and as Ursula von der Leyen has said “European values are not for sale”.

Thus the European Commission has chosen to send Malta (INFR(2020)2301) a reasoned opinion about its investor citizenship program, also known as the "golden passport" program. According to the Commission, it is against EU legislation to give EU citizenship in exchange for fixed payments or investments when there is no real connection to the Member State in question.

Participating students are expected to be experts in their respective fields as teams, whether it being the defendant, applicant, or judges, reaching the summit in form of a moot court, defending their positions.

About the seminar

The seminar is embedded into an interdisciplinary and international event bringing together advanced students from Political Sciences and Law Departments. It combines the application of political and legal knowledge with elements of a simulation exercise. Every participant has the possibility to practice real-life situations in English by performing a specific role in a simulation of proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The seminar will start with an introductory session and will be followed by several lectures by highly renowned academics and practitioners on diverse topics concerning the European Union. The seminar will culminate in a simulation exercise on the European Union’s rule of law and EU citizenship law. The objective of the seminar is to bring first-hand understanding of both academic and everyday practice of EU decision-making by offering students insights in ‘real life’ political processes and the possibility to experience the EU as a vivid political system as well as to meet politicians, practitioners and stakeholders. The participants will have the possibility to bring in their own academic and professional contributions and to discuss them with the group and the experts. They will get a better understanding of the working mechanisms and decision making procedures of the European Union. They will also be able to improve their intercultural and communicative skills, as they immerse themselves into the art of negotiation and re-live political and judicial processes first hand.

Participating students will be provided with more information (literature, schedule etc.) during the first meeting on 6th April 2023. The seminar is jointly conducted with the Chair for European Law, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. S. Hobe.


  • 06.04.2022 (11:00-12:30 CEST): Introductory Session and Lecture on “Golden Passes”, by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. S. Hobe and Prof. Dr. W. Wessels
  • TBA: Several Lectures by highly renowned academics and practitioners
  • TBA: Consultation Meeting by the simulation advisors: Introduction to “How to moot?”
  • 22.05. – 23.05.2022: Excursion to Brussels and visits to EU institutions
  • 24.05. – 25.05.2022: Simulation Game in Brussels


Accommodation expenses will be paid by PROTEUS, a project which is funded by the Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds.

For further information, please have a look at our PROTEUS report 2023.


The application deadline of Proteus 2023 is March 10th 2023.

More Information on the application process can be found here.