INTERIOR Minister Constantinos Petrides called Thursday for the need for a comprehensive solution for effective management of migration flows to the EU, pointing out the disproportionate migratory pressures on Cyprus.
Speaking during the informal Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Helsinki, Petrides also rejected a Franco-German proposal to create a central Mediterranean “Temporary Mechanism” for distributing migrants who arrive on vessels, and called for immediate action on the external dimension of the migration issue.
In particular, he highlighted the geopolitical situation in Cyprus, which is substantially affected by Turkey’s illegal occupation of part of the island, as well as Ankara’s attitude, creating disproportionate immigration challenges for the island.
Petrides again called on the European partners “to support the efforts of the Republic to manage the situation effectively, stressing the need for effective measures of solidarity in the form of redistributions.”
He went on to stress that “Cyprus will support solutions that will address the excessive flows that our country receives, as well as the other eastern Mediterranean countries, like Greece.”
Petrides also advocated for immediate action on the external dimension of the migration issue, such as the operation of a European return mechanism, the establishment of more readmission agreements between the EU and non-EU countries, the establishment of a European list of safe non-EU countries, and the establishment of agreements with non-EU countries to establish safe reception and screening centres for those seeking protection.