AKEL on the establishment of the Deputy Ministry for Migration and Asylum
1 March 2024, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
The Plenum of the House of Representatives yesterday voted in favour of the government bill for the establishment of a Deputy Ministry for Migration and Asylum.
AKEL tabled two amendments to the plenary on the Bill for the establishment and operation of an Assimilation Board for the preparation of an strategy promoting integration for third country citizens legally residing in the Republic and a Return Board for handling return issues and the conclusion of bilateral agreements with third countries for cooperation purposes with regards returns and readmission issues.
We note the statement of the relevant Minister of Interior this morning on state radio who pointed out that he does not disagree with the substance of AKEL’s amendments. Unfortunately, for reasons we do not understand, AKEL’s amendments were not voted through by the majority in plenary.
The challenges concerning immigration policy do not end yesterday with the vote for the establishment of the Deputy Ministry. There are huge funds that the Government must act on and they concern the fight against undeclared work and trafficking rings/gangs, improving and ensuring proper and fair procedures for examining applications, access to dignified and safe conditions both inside and outside the Reception and Accommodation Centres, the proper and effective management of EU funds and the adoption of integration policies in critical areas such as employment, education, health, housing, etc.
Finally, the Republic of Cyprus must in a coordinated and systematic manner raise with the European Union the need for changes to the Dublin system, which traps migratory flows in the
countries of the Mediterranean south such as Cyprus, and the need to establish a system of distribution and accommodation of refugees across all EU Member States without exception, depending on the population and the capacities of each one.

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