MINISTRY OF MINISTRY - Undersecretary Immigration: The international image of Cyprus in terms of immigration is good

For a good image of Cyprus internationally with regard to the immigration issue, the Minister of the Interior and the Deputy Minister of Immigration spoke

Screenshot 3 13 Minister of the Interior, Deputy Minister of Immigration

The Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou, and the first Deputy Minister of Immigration and International Protection of Cyprus, Dr. Nikolas Ioannidis, spoke for a good image of Cyprus internationally with regard to the immigration issue, in their statements during the ceremony of handing over and receiving the portfolio immigration and asylum. The ceremony took place on Wednesday morning at the Ministry of the Interior, in Nicosia.

The Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou, after congratulating Nikolas Ioannidis on his appointment, noted that the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Immigration and International Protection was a pre-election commitment of the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulidis, and the operation of the Deputy Ministry lays the foundations for a more effective response to the immigrant.

Subsequently, he stated that the co-housing of all services will have substantial and practical benefits in terms of planning, supervision, coordination and in general their better functioning. As he said, when he assumed the immigration portfolio 15 months ago, Cyprus was under disproportionate immigration pressures due to the mass arrivals of immigrants, indicating that from 2021 to 2022 the arrivals of immigrants had doubled and Cyprus was accepting around 1.800 immigrants per month.

As a consequence, continued the Minister of the Interior, the reception and hospitality structures had exceeded their limits, citing as an example the First Reception Center "Pournara", where more than 3.000 people were accommodated".

Referring to the policy of the Christodoulidis Government, Mr. Ioannou underlined that a holistic approach was adopted, which aimed to make Cyprus an unattractive destination. Speaking about the pillars of this strategy, Mr. Ioannou explained that "we focused in the last 15 months on specific pillars aimed at reducing arrivals, increasing returns, improving infrastructure and speeding up asylum examinations".

"The picture today is clearly improved," said the Minister of the Interior, noting that the last 15 months have seen a reduction in arrivals of around 50% and an increase in returns by 66%. "For the first time in the history of emigration to Cyprus, more people are leaving than coming", he added.

He also expressed particular delight that the Home Office has received credit from European Union officials for these actions, especially with regard to returns. "Commissioner Johansson, in her statements, described Cyprus as an example to follow, as did the Vice-President of the European Commission, who described Cyprus as a champion in returns", he added.

Then, referring to the third pillar of the policy, that of upgrading the infrastructure, Mr. Ioannou referred to the completion of the upgrade of the First Reception Center (KEPY) "Pournara", which was co-financed by the European Union. Now, he said, the Center is a closed structure and the benefit of this can be seen in the limitation of reactions in the communities adjacent to the Center.

In addition, Mr. Ioannou noted, the upgrading of the Reception and Hospitality Center for International Protection Applicants in Kofinou has progressed. "Equally important, we have proceeded to start work on the construction of the Pre-Departure Center, which will substantially help increase returns," the Minister of the Interior said.

In addition, Mr. Ioannou referred to the action plan drawn up for the integration of immigrants, which includes 50 actions in five pillars, namely health, housing, education, employment and skills development.

Handing over the immigration and asylum portfolio to the first Deputy Secretary of State for Immigration and International Protection, the Home Secretary thanked his colleagues at the Home Office, the Department of Immigration, the Asylum Service and the Police Aliens and Immigration Service for their excellent cooperation and commitment throughout The space.

He expressed the certainty that the same kind cooperation will continue with the Deputy Ministry.

Addressing Nikolas Ioannidis, Konstantinos Ioannou expressed the belief that the improved image, which exists at the moment, will be further strengthened with the operation of the Deputy Ministry and under his political guidance, adding that "your successes will be successes for the Cyprus in terms of immigration management".

For his part, the first Deputy Minister of Immigration and International Protection, Dr. Nikolas Ioannidis, expressed his thanks to the Minister of the Interior for the important work he has done during the time he was called to manage immigration.

"I'm sure the community has seen it, bought it and understood how much improvement has been made in the last few months, so the legacy you're leaving is very critical and useful for the place, but also for the Under-Secretary of Immigration," he said.

"We are not starting from scratch. We are starting from a very good starting point that you and your colleagues have created," continued Mr. Ioannidis, assuring that both he and his colleagues at the Deputy Ministry of Migration will work hard to maintain this good image in the future. of time to further strengthen the good image that Cyprus has internationally, but also to consolidate the feeling among Cypriot citizens that the Government safeguards the interests of the Republic of Cyprus.

"Regarding this issue, always of course within the framework of international and European legality, focusing on people, with sensitivity, balancing the well-intentioned interests of the country", he clarified.

"I don't want to spend too much time on words. Your own works have spoken. Now it's our turn to work hard, so that we can continue this excellent work that has been done in the last months", he concluded.

Source: KYPE