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    The Republic of Cyprus discusses immigration problem in Brussels and internationally 

    Defence Redefined
    Published on 19/02/2021 at 09:48

    The Republic of Cyprus will discuss the immigration problem in both Brussels and internationally, at a technocratic and political level, in order to present the immigration problem in its true dimensions and to ensure, both in terms of EU legislation as well as politically, the required assistance to tackle the problem effectively.

    According to a joint statement issued today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior, an inter-ministerial meeting was held yesterday between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulidis, and Nikos Nouris, with the participation of experts from the two Ministries, focusing on the discussion and coordination for the effective promotion of the positions of the Republic of Cyprus in the context of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum of the European Union.

    According to the announcement, the seriousness of the immigration problem and the disproportionate weight of the migration flows that Cyprus bears as a first line country were highlighted again. Being an island and due to its peculiarities as a semi-occupied state, Cyprus is – for the fourth consecutive year – the EU Member State with most asylum applications in proportion to its population. The percentage of asylum and international protection seekers amounts to 4% of the population, a particularly large percentage, since the corresponding figure in the other member states is around 1%. 

    Also read: Barriers across the Green Line to deal with illegal immigrant crossings

    It was also pointed out that the vast majority of migrant flows come from Turkey, which does not act in any agreed framework for tackling immigration towards Cyprus, while its stance has created a new migration route in the eastern Mediterranean that burdens Cyprus. As a result, the Republic of Cyprus is subject to an excessive burden which essentially challenges the national asylum system. It was stressed that there is a need for both the European Commission and the relevant international organizations to take into account all the special circumstances that prevail, to help to find immediate practical solutions so as to prevent illegal flows and ensure legal returns.

    In this context, the two Ministers drafted a specific action plan and agreed on joint steps of the two Ministries, at all levels, technocratic and political, both in Brussels and internationally, in order to present the problem in its true dimensions and in order for the Republic of Cyprus, both in terms of EU legislation and politics, to ensure any required assistance to tackle the problem effectively.

    It was agreed that immigration would be high on the agenda of contacts between the two Ministers, who will be in constant coordination, in view of the Jumbo Council (Joint Council of EU Foreign and Interior Ministers) that Brussels announced to be held on March 15 as well as the general discussions on Turkey that preoccupy institutions and member states.

    Also read: Institute of Demographic Policy | The danger for the security of Cypriot Hellenism is visible


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