House President asks EU counterparts to support measures to manage migration flows

House President Annita Demetriou briefed her EU counterparts on the situation in the Middle East and migration, in the context of the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments (EUSC) that wrapped up its works on Tuesday in Palma de Mallorca. Demetriou asked for their support regarding the aid to Lebanon to manage flow of Syrian migrants and the reassessing of the situation in Syria.

According to a House’s press release, in her intervention, the House President briefed her counterparts about the first meeting of the Speakers of the parliaments of the southern EU member countries (Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta) with the participation of the European Parliament, which took place on the same day. The subject of discussion was the alarming increase in Syrian flows from Lebanon to Cyprus, which, as she noted, is exacerbated by the crisis in the Middle East and Lebanon’s difficulty in keeping Syrians from leaving the country and managing these flows effectively.

Annita Dem
etriou also referred to the situation in the Middle East, which is dangerously escalating with the involvement of other countries, pointing out that the growing tensions, which show no signs of abating in the near future, trigger the possibility of a new migration crisis across the EU.

Demetriou requested assistance,so that EU member states provide aid to Lebanon with a view to stop the flow of Syrians leaving the shores of the country and to contribute to the efforts to reassess the situation in Syria, so that some areas which are currently considered unsafe for the repatriation of asylum seekers are designated as safe zones, in order to achieve the removal of the automatic legal protection status.

In this regard, the House President emphasized the need to fully implement the recently adopted EU Action Plan for the Eastern Mediterranean route, which foresees an enhanced presence of Frontex and Europol in the region. She pointed out that it is crucial for the EU to act decisively to stop the incessant flows
to Cyprus and, by extension, to the EU.

At the same time, Demetriou underlined the need to strengthen partnerships with the main countries of origin and transit at the member states’ level and the EU level and referred in particular to the case of Lebanon and the need to conclude agreements, as was done in the case of Egypt, for the control and the containment of migration flows. In this context, the supervision of the coasts of Lebanon by Frontex, with the participation of Europol, to deal with smuggling networks becomes imperative, she said.

Finally, she pointed out that the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, although it is an important and positive step, is not enough, as it does not address, among other things, the request of Cyprus for mandatory relocations. On this, she emphasized that the management of immigration, with a demonstration of unity and solidarity, is a necessity for the unity and credibility of the Union.

Source: Cyprus News Agency