Cyprus requires FRONTEX assistance for migration management

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Justice Minister Anna Koukkides Procopiou said EU border agency FRONTEX assistance was needed in all procedures for managing migratory flows.

She said Nicosia needed help during her intervention in the “Management of migratory flows in the Mediterranean” session at the Economist Cyprus Summit.

According to the minister, the geopolitical realities in the region do not leave much room for flexibility in terms of not accepting migratory flows, with the situation becoming more difficult because of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

She said the Ministry of Justice is working on a new security equation because the boundaries between external and internal security are becoming increasingly blurred.

Cyprus is currently facing a continued influx of migrants, which has raised security concerns that are not only limited to terrorism but also include trafficking, people smuggling and their exploitation.

“We cannot deal alone with what is happening in the region and the problems created by migratory flows.

“Therefore, one cannot stress enough the importance of FRONTEX’s assistance in all the processes needed to deal with what is happening, or how important diplomatic efforts are for this purpose,” said Koukkides Procopiou.

She urged the EU to open a dialogue with Syria for the return of asylum seekers.

Greek Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum Sofia Voultepsi said that in the recent crisis in the Middle East, the risk of increased migration flows comes second; as hate rhetoric spreads, the greatest danger is radicalisation, with the simultaneous return of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

“What is needed today is border security on the one hand and integration on the other, which should include a strategy for a European way of life, familiarity with democratic institutions, the parliamentary constitution, gender equality and the prevention of all forms of violence,” said Voultepsi.