CNA News

EU official congratulates Cyprus for irregular migrants’ returns

Τhe Republic of Cyprus was congratulated by the EU regarding the return of irregular migrants, the Minister of Justice and Public Order, Anna Koukkides-Prokopiou, said after a meeting with Beate Gminder, Deputy Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs and Head of the Task Force Migration Management. The meeting took place on Friday morning in Nicosia. 

On her part, Beate Gminder pointed out that Cyprus had “a huge success” as regards the return of irregular migrants. Furthermore, she underlined the efforts made by the EU to support Cyprus as part of a policy of solidarity between the member states. 

The Minister of Justice and Public Order, Anna Koukkides-Prokopiou, said that the meeting was a continuation of the discussion that has already started on issues of people smuggling and illegal migrant trafficking at the initiative of Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs. 

Various ways of cooperation that already exist and their strengthening were discussed during the meeting, as well as the issues arising from irregular migration flows in Cyprus and the ways in which Frontex and other EU bodies can help Cyprus in this endeavour, Justice Minister pointed out.  

She further added that “the outlook of the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus was positive as regards the returns of irregular migrants but also in relation to the progress achieved in the proper use of the Schengen systems by the Police, as well as the when it comes to the general context of the progress achieved in terms of Cyprus’ application to be part of the Schengen area.” 

On her part, the Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs spoke of “a very constructive meeting.” As Gminder said, “we particularly discussed the issue of returns, where Cyprus has made an enormous effort and had a huge success to allow people that arrive irregularly in the country to quickly process their asylum application, and those who have no right to stay return quickly to their countries.” 

“This is very important to also demonstrate that we in the European Union can return to third countries in an efficient manner people who have no right to stay”, Gminder pointed out. “Cyprus is leading this effort with over 7,000 returns with the help of Frontex. My congratulations for doing this very efficiently and very humanely” she added.