Minister of Justice participates in the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Brussels

Home affairs were on the agenda of discussions during the second-day-works of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, which has held on Friday, December 9, 2016, in Brussels. Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr Ionas Nicolaou, represented Cyprus in the Council.

Migration and seeking ways to address migration crisis was on the top of the discussions, with the Presidency informing the EU Ministers about the state of play on the EU asylum legislative package. Ministers, further, exchanged views on practical solutions for the implementation of the solidarity principle, with the aim reaching to a balance between the obligations that member states have to fulfill and the implementation of solidarity measures in cases of excessive migration pressures.

Addressing the subject, Minister Nicolaou noted that the reform of the Common European Asylum System is a priority for the pan-European challenges to be addressed. Migration has taken dimensions; these dimensions are a proof that individual measures do not provide effective and lasting solutions to pan-European challenges, Minister said.

Cyprus has contributed to FRONTEX and EASO agencies, whilst the country, regardless of its small size and the pressures encounters at national level, has had a tangible contribution to this joint effort. We cannot except from certain member states to manage the massive migration inflows all alone. Efforts should continue so to be able to achieve convergence, and the Republic of Cyprus is ready to contribute constructively to this joint effort, Mr Nicolaou highlighted.

Fight against terrorism and organized crime was also a subject of discussion. Ministers agreed that the issue of the returnees “foreign fighters” should be tackled collectively and through a common approach. They also agreed that cooperation with third countries is important for the issue to be addressed in an effective manner.

On his part, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Mr Christos Stylianides, by presenting the capacities of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism during a discussion about managing the consequences resulting from terrorist attacks, stressed on the need for the readiness for managing such disasters to be strengthened and cooperation between member states’ emergency services and security agencies to be further improved.

Source: Press and Information Office