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27 May, 2024
 
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EU allows extension of asylum review amid surge

European Commission acknowledges Cyprus' decision on suspending asylum review, notes up to nine-month examination period

Source: CNA

The member states of the European Union can extend the examination of asylum applications for nine months in case of large arrivals, a spokesperson for the European Commission said in a written statement on Tuesday, responding to questions after the Cypriot government announced a related decision over the weekend.

Responding to questions seeking clarifications during Tuesday’s midday briefing at the European Commission, migration spokesperson Anitta Hipper said that the extension of examination can take up to nine months, and added that “there should be also a reassessment of the country of origin”.

More specifically, in their written response to developments over the weekend, a Commission spokesperson said that the Commission “is very much aware of the situation involving the recent high number of irregular arrivals from Lebanon to Cyprus”.

“The Commission is in close contact with Cyprus - at the highest political level and technical level” the spokesperson added, noting that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke again over the telephone with President Christodoulides on Sunday April 14th.

“We understand that the intention is to suspend examining applications for a short time. Under EU law Member States can extend the examination of applications in case of large arrivals” the spokesperson added.

Later on Tuesday, responding to journalist questions on the legal basis of the decision of the Cypriot authorities, Commission spokesperson Anitta Hipper said that “this is possible under the asylum procedures regulations, and indeed this extension can take up to nine months. But of course, there should be also a reassessment of the country of origin.”

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