The European Commission and EU agencies have reached an agreement with an action plan with Cyprus in a bid to improve migration management, as the Mediterranean country has been an immigration target recently.
According to a press release from the EU Commission, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and Cypriot Interior Minister Nikos Norris have signed an agreement aimed at supporting and strengthening migration management in Cyprus, according to TheSchengen.com.
More specifically, the objectives of the agreement include increasing initial reception capacities, enhancing conditions for physical reception of applicants, focusing on asylum procedures and effective and timely return, and establishing and developing an integration strategy.
EU home affairs agencies such as the EU Asylum Agency, Frontex and Europol will support this plan by deploying forces as necessary.
Recently, the Cypriot village of Chlorakas has experienced an influx of immigration – with refugees accounting for a quarter of its population.
“We have a demographic problem,” Chlorakas Mayor Nicholas Lyassides noted in this regard, as reported by Euractiv.
In addition, the Cypriot government revealed that it is facing a large number of immigration issues as it recorded the highest number of first-time applications for protection in the European Union for capital. Moreover, the government accused Turkey, its neighboring country, of sending many migrants to its borders.
Commenting on the matter, Minister Norris said that 85 percent of the migrant asylum seekers in Cyprus entered the country via the northern Turkish border.
The growing number of migrants on the Mediterranean island has been confirmed by the European Union border agency, Frontex, which revealed in its latest report that the number of illegal border crossings has reached 850 in Cyprus – a 48 percent increase from 2021. Migrants came this way From Nigeria, Syria and Congo.
According to Euromed, a network of human rights organizations in the Euro-Mediterranean region, more than 700 migrants entered Cyprus between January 25 and February 2, while there are 19,000 asylum applications pending as of 2020.
“Reception centers on the island are overcrowded, people are living in squalid conditions as many people cross the buffer zone,” Euromed revealed in a press release.
Frontex also revealed that 13,160 cases of illegal border crossings were reported in the European Union, an increase of about 78 percent over the same period in 2021 and 23 percent more than in 2020.
The worst affected roads for January 2021 were the Western Balkans, which recorded 5,826 discoveries, and the United Kingdom, which registered a 273 percent increase compared to 2021.