Cyprus will profit from the reformed Common European Asylum System, Minister of Interior says

Cyprus will benefit from the reform of the Common European Asylum System, as the country has already surpassed its share under the new method of redistribution of asylum seekers, according to Interior Minister Konstantinos Petrides. The Minister of Interior, Konstantinos Petrides, represented today Cyprus in the works of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council ( Home Affairs agenda ) held today in Luxembourg, where the main topics were the effective management of the high migratory pressures in the Member States, as well as the revision of the European asylum system.

As far as asylum is concerned, the Interior Minister in his intervention has maintained a clear position in favor of the establishment of a Common Asylum System, which will be fair and balanced and will in fact support Member States of the front line.

In this context, the Minister stressed that it has been possible to include in the text (pending the EU leaders approval) the introduction of concrete measures to alleviate the pressure of frontline countries, including Cyprus. In the context of the ongoing negotiations, Cyprus has shown a spirit of cooperation, while at the same time highlighting the pressure it faces as a frontline member state.

“This is the first time that the disproportionate burden of the Mediterranean countries is also recognized by legislative provision, which includes measures to redistribute beneficiaries of protection equally between all EU Member States despite the strong reaction of some partners”, the Minister explains in a written statement issued after the conclusion of the JHA Council.

According to the Minister, the new method of redistributing asylum seekers tabled will take into account both the size and the population of the Member States, which, he said, “makes Cyprus within the first Member States to benefit from the implementation of these measures, should the agreement be approved by the leaders at the European Council next June, and given that Cyprus has already exceeded its share. “

The Minister notes that the issue will be on the agenda of the European Council summit on 28-29 June and the EU 28 will seek an overall agreement.

The main purpose of the review of the European Asylum System is to harmonize the asylum and reception systems of the Member States, to effectively address the phenomenon of abusive applications by persons using the asylum route for economic migration, to determine the Member State responsible for the examination of asylum applications and the provision of support measures to the first-line Member States, in the form of practical solidarity.

With regard to immigration in general, the Minister, in his written statement, notes that this is an issue directly affecting Cyprus, since migratory pressures in the eastern Mediterranean show a systematic upward trend. Indicatively, it is reported that only for the period January – May 2018, asylum applications were submitted to Cyprus by 2174 people, a significantly higher number than in previous years.

The Minister stressed that a steady and systematic increase in arrivals causes substantial pressure on Cyprus as a first-line member, due to its geographic proximity to the Middle East, and Cyprus therefore attaches great importance to the positive outcome of the negotiations.

Source: Cyprus News Agency