Interior Minister requests response to Turkish challenges and funding for Immigration Center from the EU – VIDEO
Defence Redefined
Published on 21/07/2021 at 16:20

The Interior Minister met with the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate for Migration and Home Affairs.

Interior Minister Nikos Nouris asked for solidarity, a response to Turkish provocations and generous funding for the new Immigration Center in the “Lakes” area from the EU.

In a relevant announcement, Mr. Nouris addressed a request to the European Commission for funding under the Emergency Assistance, in order to cover the costs related to the construction and operation of a Residence Center for Applicants for International Protection and Pre-Departure Center “Lakes”.

The Minister of Interior had a meeting on Wednesday afternoon with the Deputy Director-General of the Directorate-General for Immigration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, Beate Gminder, during which he informed her about the increasing immigration flows in Cyprus. In the first half of 2021 alone, he said, the Republic received 5,555 new asylum applications.

Mr. Nouris referred to the measures taken by the Cypriot authorities to manage the disproportionate migratory pressures, explaining at the same time that they cannot be made effective, due to the systematic promotion of illegal immigrants through the occupied areas and the green line to the areas controlled by the Republic. The Interior Minister stressed that the latest incident with the shooting of a Port Police boat, which was on reconnaissance patrol, shows exactly the escalation of the Turkish provocations.

He noted that Cyprus has repeatedly asked for help from the European Commission as the front-line Member State, which receives the largest immigrant inflows, but also as a Member State shouldering Turkey’s non-compliance with EU obligations. Despite the unacceptable Turkish stance and the flagrant violation of the EU – Turkey agreement on the obligation to keep Syrian refugees on its territory, the EU is generously rewarding Turkey with billions in financial assistance.

The Minister of Interior reminded that in the field of immigration, the Cypriot citizens feel disappointed with the attitude of the EU, expecting solidarity to become a practice and not to remain merely a slogan.

Finally, she asked for the help of Ms. Beate Gminder to promote the implementation of the request for direct funding of the new Center in the Lakes area regarding the construction and operation of an International Protection Applicants Accommodation Center, with a capacity of 1000 people, and a Pre-Departure Center with a capacity of 800, which is deemed necessary for the successful return of those whose applications are rejected.

The Minister has already stressed that the new fast-track procedure for examining applications, which came into force on January 1, 2021, is paying off, since 5400 rejection decisions were served in the first half of this year alone. Unfortunately, however, the possibility of deportations is extremely low as necessary return agreements with a number of third countries are not in force, which is a constant request of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU.

For her part, Deputy Director General Beate Gminder, expressed the EU willingness to support the Republic of Cyprus in its efforts to address the immigration challenges, saying that the application for financial assistance will be considered as soon as possible, as soon as the regulations of the new programming period for the European funds proceed.

Also read: Erdogan – Tatar | Pilot opening of the enclosed city of Famagusta




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