Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said that Cyprus, along with the other four members of the MED5 group (Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain) will raise their concerns regarding a new proposed Screening Regulation, during Friday’s Home Affairs Council taking place in Luxembourg.
Speaking upon arrival to the Council, Nouris said that the front line Mediterranean states will propose certain measures based on the idea that all measures, as well as the new proposed Pact on Migration and Asylum, need to be suffused with the principles of solidarity and responsibility. The proposals will focus on border management and the promotion of bilateral agreements with third countries on returns of migrants, he said.
Interior Minister Nouris said that the Council will discuss the latest developments on Afghanistan, as well as the progress on actions agreed during the last meeting of the Home Affairs Council.
“The humanitarian issue is of great concern to all of us. It will take long to discuss how things are progressing,” Nouris said.
“At the same time we will talk with my colleagues on how to prevent any new mass influx of migration towards the EU,” he added.
Nouris noted that Cyprus “has a long experience” in this, due to “the instrumentalization of migration by Turkey” and added that “along with my colleagues from the MED5 countries, we will raise the issue and our great concern regarding the proposed Screening Regulation.
He added that front-line member states believe that “the principles of solidarity and responsibility should be interconnected both with any measures decided, and of course with the new Pact” on Migration and Asylum.
For this reason, he said, “we will propose certain measures” and work towards an agreement, focusing on “border management and the necessity to have centrally agreed bilateral agreements between the European Commission and third countries in order to maximize the efficiency of returns”.