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Migration: What Egypt's package for Lebanon means and how we are affected by new EU Pact

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Emigration has been high on the agenda of both Nicosia and the European Union for the last time and especially in the last few days.

The Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou is carrying out bilateral contacts in European countries from today, with the aim of reassessing the Syrian regime, whilethe Government is simultaneously promoting the provision of an economic support package from the EU to Lebanon, with the aim of containing migration flows to Cyprus.

At the same time, and while in 2023 an increase has been recorded in the EU both asylum applications and the entry of irregular immigrants, the European Parliament votes today on the new Compact on Migration, a development that inevitably affects Cyprus as well.

-Contacts Konstantinou Ioannou in European countries for immigrants from Syria

With the aim of the Cypriot initiative to reassess the status of areas in Syria and declassify specific areas based on current realities, the Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou, is visiting Denmark today , while tomorrow he will go to the Czech Republic and on Friday to Greece. Konstantinos Ioannou's agenda of contacts is expected to include practical ways, so that Syrian nationals do not almost automatically receive supplementary protection status in any country.

Government initiative for a support package for Lebanon similar to Egypt >

At the same time, in the context of dealing with external factors, which aggravate the migration crisis in Cyprus, the Government is promoting an initiative for the preparation of a support package from the EU to Lebanon, corresponding to that of Egypt,with the prospect of acting as a lure to end the illegal trafficking of migrants to Cyprus.

What does the Egypt package provide

It is recalled that in at the beginning of March, in a period of great unrest in the Middle East and with an eye on the war in Gaza, the European Union and Egypt signed a historic agreement in Cairo, aimed at limiting migration flows from North Africa.

Ursula von der Leyen and Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi signed a joint Declaration on an EU-Egypt Strategic and Comprehensive Partnership, within which the President of the Commission announced a new economic and investment package of €7.4 billion to the Egypt for the next four years.

The implementation of the Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership recognizes that the stability and prosperity of Egypt is of key importance to the European Unionand covers six pillars of mutual interest, one of which concerns Migration and Mobility, as Egypt is pressured both by flows from African countries, and at its border with Gaza, while the economy it is also affected by the Suez crisis.

The President of the Commission indicated that the EU and Egypt already maintain a very good cooperation in the field of immigration, adding thatthe EU will invest at least 200 million euros from the package, to make this cooperation even more effective, while underlining the necessary role of Egypt in controlling irregular migration from Egypt.

The The Cypriot Government expects that a similar support package, which will promote stability in Lebanon, can contribute equally positively to the issue of controlling the trafficking of irregular immigrants from the country to Cyprus.

The new Pact on Immigration is voted on

In another development surrounding the issue, the legislative package on Immigration is put to a vote today in the Plenary of the European Parliament, with the texts already agreed between the Council and Parliament since last December aimed at improving cooperation between European states and strengthening the EU's response in the event of crises.

The Pact includes anew framework for an integrated asylum and immigration policy, with the aim of promoting solidarity and fair sharing of responsibilities, including updated rules on the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an international application protection.

In general, Member States will be able to choose between relocating asylum seekers in their territory, of the financial contribution or the provision of operational and technical support to the Member States under migratory pressures. At the same time, there will be special rules for crisis situations, while the existing rules on reception standards for asylum seekers will also be updated.

The amended recognition rules they will set uniform standards across the EU cfor the recognition of people who apply for international protection, as well as their rights, while in addition a faster common procedure will be promoted throughout the EU.

It is noted that even if the new Migration Pact is approved today by the European Parliament and Asylum, the details of its implementation are pending to a significant extent.

How is Cyprus affected

As regards how Nicosia sees the new Pact on Migration, it is noted that from the Ministry of Interior,as we were told, it is considered that in general the new Pact is moving in the right direction,but Cyprus' request remains that the relocation of asylum seekers is mandatory and not voluntary, since the states of the Eastern Mediterranean , like Cyprus, are under enormous pressure.

Called last December to comment on the issue, the Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou, characterized as important the fact that the agreement now recognizes the solidarity between the states in terms of the handling of immigration, explaining that in times of crisis, as happened in 2015-2016, relocations will take place and help will be given from other countries.

He then argued that “the ideal scenario would be for these relocations to be mandatory, but unfortunately they are not”, noting that “the possibility is given to the other member states that, instead of accepting legal immigrants to settle in their country, they can pay an amount set at €20,000 per person”.

He added that “we will also have to see the mechanism exactly how it will work for about 100,000 people a year for all member states, how it will be shared between states, and so on.”< /p>

«For Cyprus, the ideal would be to make relocations mandatory, because it is not a question of financial aid, as we as a country already receive financial support from the Union. For us, mandatory relocations would be essential”, he repeated.

Mr. Ioannou, after characterizing the Pact as a big step in the right direction, referred to the measures proposed in it, indicating that some of them are already implemented in Cyprus. He specifically referred to the provisions for the rapid examination of asylum applications, which in Cyprus are now completed within three months, noting that there is still much that needs to be done.

Source: www.philenews.com

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