The European Union’s top migration official is on a visit to the Republic of Cyprus, where he will hold discussions with a cabinet subcommittee on dealing with the influx of migrants and refugees.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, is visiting the island following Nicosia’s initiative spearheaded by Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides.
Earlier this month, Petrides called for more contacts with its European Union partners but also third countries on the issue of migration, by stepping up measures to address a recent increase in the flow of refugees and undocumented migrants.
Avramopoulos was scheduled to greet President Nicos Anastasiades at 11am. He was then scheduled to sit down at 11:45am with Petrides as well as Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou.
The three men are expected to discuss ways of addressing irregular migration both on the island and across the European Union, where a debate on lack of an effective and comprehensive migration policy has surfaced.
Commissioner Avramopoulos announced earlier this week new measures for stronger EU borders and solidarity on migration, noting among others that “we will establish a standing corps of 10,000 operational EU staff by 2020.” The Ministerial Committee on migration agreed recently on certain measures to cope with the increasing influx of migrants arriving to Cyprus. Among others it decided to discuss the issue and Nicosia’s positions with EU officials.
In statements to the media, Interior Minister Petrides has stressed the importance of European solidarity so that small countries do not carry a burden which is disproportionate to their size, and the need for a mechanism that will provide for the automatic allocation of immigrants who are beneficiaries of protection all over the EU.