The first day of the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs meeting, which was attended by Mr. Constantinos Ioannou, Minister of Interior, has concluded, during which the Ministers of the 27 Member States had the opportunity to exchange views on the external dimension of migration as well as the internal management of migration flows.
Mr. Ioannou's intervention highlighted Cyprus's dramatic situation, indicating that the country's capacity to manage the problem has been depleted. He reiterated that the measures taken must address the real pressures that Cyprus faces as a frontline country, which are proportionally greater than those faced by any other Union member. In this context, he emphasized the need to expedite work on the development of a specific Action Plan for the Eastern Mediterranean, which would include concrete measures with added value and immediate tangible results in terms of reducing flows, while taking into account the region's specificities and Turkey's destabilizing role.
Mr. Ioannou emphasized that the problem is an undeniable result of Turkey's instrumentalization and targeted dissemination of irregular migrants to free zones, and that specific initiatives should be sought to curb the activities of traffickers and other actors, such as air carriers, who contribute to the current situation through their actions or tolerance.
In addition to the foregoing, the Home Affairs Minister urged EU members to listen to Cyprus's concerns and join it on a path of substantial solidarity, which cannot be achieved without a mandatory relocation framework that ensures a fair distribution of the migratory burden among EU member states.
Mr. Ioannou concluded his discussion by emphasizing that only by following this path will tangible results be achieved, bringing real relief to Cyprus and the other Member States.
Meeting with Schinas
Mr. Ioannou met privately in the margins of the Council with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Margaritis Schinas, the Head of the European Migration Agency, Ms. Nina Geogory, and the Deputy Director General of the Commission, Ms. Gminder Beate, to discuss issues related to the strengthening of Cyprus' efforts to manage the problem and the institutions' support for its claims for practical solidarity.