The European Commission has approved a total of €2.4 billion distributed in 23 mutli-annual national programmes for the 2014 – 2020 period under Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF) of which €74.9 million are allocated to Cyprus.
In particular, Cyprus` national programme for the AMIF is €32.3 million, while for the ISF €42.6 million, the Commission announced on Monday.
In the area of asylum, the European Commission says, “Cyprus focuses strongly on improving the quality and speed of asylum procedures, increasing and improving the quality of the reception and accommodation capacities and providing assistance to applicants for international protection”.
As regards legal migration and integration, the funding “will mainly support pre-departure measures as well as preparatory actions facilitating access of third-country nationals to the labour market”.
In addition, Cyprus will focus “on strengthening the administrative capacity and awareness rising of the receiving society”.
Cyprus will continue the recently established voluntary return programme and will also support forced return.
As regards the common visa policy, Cyprus will focus “on supporting the visa sections for short-stay, the national visa system, and training on issues related to the Visa Information System.”
In relation to border management, Cyprus continues the development of EUROSUR and plans to introduce Automated Border Control gates.
It will also support the Schengen Information System II/SIRENE, increase the capacity for border surveillance and implement the Smart Borders package.
The country will furthermore expand training for border guards on issues related to external border management.
Under ISF Police, Cyprus focuses “on improving the capacity for financial investigations and fighting against cyber crime, drug trafficking and corruption through purchasing specialised equipment, enhanced exchange of information and training.”
It will also invest in enhancing its operational capacity for fighting against terrorism and effectively managing security related risks and crises (including CBRN), the Commission says.
“Member States nowadays face unprecedented challenges in the fields of migration and security and the Commission is taking action in a spirit of solidarity”, Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said.
Through the European Agendas on Migration and Security, he added, “the Commission is taking bold steps to improve migration management, foster cooperation and make Europe safer from organised crime and terrorism for our citizens.”
Avramopoulos also expressed the Commission`s determination “to continue to put solidarity into practice.”
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY