Vice President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas and Interior Minister Nicos Nouris will sign Monday an MoU between the EU and the Cyprus government on operational assistance regarding migrant influxes at the Presidential Palace in the presence of President Nicos Anastasiades.
A great number of migrants arrive via Turkey to the occupied areas and from there they pass in the Cyprus Republic. Cyprus has asked EU`s assistance to deal with the flows.
The memorandum of understanding between the Republic of Cyprus, the European Commission and all relevant EU agencies and organisations will strengthen cooperation in the field of migration, on the basis of a detailed common plan, said on Saturday Schinas who is paying a visit to Cyprus.
The Republic of Cyprus and FRONTEX reached last week an agreement to set up an action plan for the return of migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected, to their countries of origin as Cyprus is facing a “most urgent need”, as FRONTEX chief Fabrice Leggeri said after a meeting with Cyprus’ Interion Minister.
“We will do this using the means of the agency and using the mandate that we have, so we can deploy staff of the European Standing Corps in order to provide expertise, support in return, we can organise consular missions, so that the authorities of foreign countries come to Cyprus to identify their nationals in order to confirm the identification, that they are from the country we suspect they are from,” Leggeri noted. This way, he added, “we intend to get the authorisation to return them back to their country.”
He also said that FRONTEX will use the European Standing Corps which is right now a European Force with a staff of 2000. Their mandate, he added, is to monitor the border to carry out checks. Return is the focus he said, “that’s the most urgent need that we have identified but we can also do more with different activities for example forged documents, in the border crossing points. The operational plan will be the road map, the plan for our teams to work together”.
The Cypriot Interior Minister said the plan includes beefing up the support which FRONTEX offers to the Republic of Cyprus by bringing in experts in the field of returns to confirm the identity of the migrants and arrange for their return.
The plan also provides for regular repatriation flights with FRONTEX fully incurring the cost as well as providing technical support to upgrade and develop migration management systems in the field of returns.