Cyprus Wants EU to Make It Harder for Syrians to Be Eligible for International Protection


Cyprus has called on the EU authorities to designate Syria as a safe country of origin, thus making it harder for Syrians to obtain international protection in the country and further in the bloc.

This call of Cyprus was made by the latterโ€™s Minister of Interior Constantinos Ioannou, during a meeting with the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, reports.

As Cyprus Mail explains, Minister Ioannou said that he is deeply concerned about migration flows from Syria. Because of its proximity to Syria, Minister Ionnau stressed that Cyprus faces a significant influx of undocumented migrants, leading to strain on the countryโ€™s reception system.

By designating Syria as a safe country of origin, Cyprus wants to be able to return Syrians who do not hold the required documents to remain in the country.

While Minister Ioannou said that such a categorisation would bring irregular migration to an end and allow the country to make a place for those in need of protection, Commissioner Johansson noted that it is not an easy process to change the status of a country for migration purposes.

In addition, Commissioner Johansson said that they would continue to discuss the matter before they decided on whether to take measures.

According to Cyprus Mail, Commissioner Johansson further added that the EU countries should work together on managing irregular migration flows.

In order to deal with irregular migration, Cyprus has introduced different measures over the years, and according to the authorities, they have proven to be effective.

Minister Ioannou revealed that thanks to stricter measures, the number of migrants arriving in the country in 2023 dropped by 50 per cent compared to 2022. Of all countries, it was noted that the highest drop was seen in migrant arrivals from African countries โ€“ 60 per cent.

Due to increased migration concerns, the EU reached an agreement to reform the asylum and migration policy.

The deal reached between the EU Member of Parliament and national governments in total includes five regulations that set out how asylum as well as migration flows will be shared among the Member States of the EU.

The five key proposals of the policy are screening regulation, Eurodac regulation, asylum procedures regulation, asylum migration management regulation, and crisis and force majeure regulation.

The agreement reached between MEPs and the national government now needs to be formally adopted in order for it to become law.


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