The Interior and Migration Ministers of five Mediterranean countries are taking strong action against what they believe is an unfair burden of migration forced upon them as first responders to thousands of people risking a hazardous journey from the Middle East and beyond to the Mediterranean and Western Europe, paying enormous amounts to vicious smugglers.
Following a summit in the western coastal city of Pafos, Cyprus. Greece, Malta, Italy and Spain agreed to focus on the need for increased monitoring and management of EU external borders, with a special clause on the Green Line dividing the island due to its particularities, an area cited by Nicosia as a black hole that Turkish occupation troops use to allow migrants through to the Republic.
The five frontline countries of the migration crisis will also push for an obligatory solidarity mechanism within the EU through the implementation of fast and effecting measures to share the burden.
In a joint declaration following the 4th ministerial Summit held in preparation of a coordinated position in view of the European Council meeting in Luxembourg on October 14, they note that following a detailed discussion of the internal and external dimensions of the European migration policy, they aim towards a holistic management of asylum and migration issues.
The Summit was addressed by Internal Affairs Commissioner Ilva Johansson, Czech interior minister Vit Rakousan and Italian interior minister Luciano Lamorghese through teleconferencing.
The MED5 expressed their appreciation for the joint European Parliament and European Council road map on achieving a comprehensive and balanced agreement on asylum and migration. But they also underline however that negotiations should proceed with a balanced approach and also encourage all parties to engage in an honest dialogue in setting up a really joint system of migration management.
They further stressed the need for an obligatory support mechanism in covering all needs as well as increased monitoring in the origin and prevention of illegal flows.
Also included in the declaration was the particularity of the division line in Cyprus, pointing out to the need for adequate management due to special circumstances and in spite the fact that the Green Line is not an EU external border.
They also call on the Commission and member states to take into account the particularities of geographical conditions and geopolitical developments, while also underlining hybrid threats and the instrumentalisation of migration flows by certain neighbouring countries, particularly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As also noted there is a need to evaluate the real conditions in the migrants’ countries of origin.
‘Please finally recognise the additional burden on front line member states in managing the flows, reception, asylum and integration’, the MED5 said.
At the upcoming interior ministers council in Luxembourg, Nikos Nouris will submit a Cyprus proposal to amend the asylum requests so they are submitted in the migrants’ countries of origin or temporary transfer areasa.