Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) José Carreira is in Cyprus to beef up support for Nicosia.
Carreira discussed EASO’s operational support with Minister of Interior Constantinos Petrides and with the Head of the Cyprus’ Asylum Service and Acting Head of the Civil Registry and Migration Department Makis Polydorou.
Following the meeting, the Minister of Interior emphasized the importance of EASO’s support to Cyprus in improving and enhancing the Cypriot asylum and reception system.
Petrides said: “In this challenging period of refugee crisis, EASO proved that it can provide practical, efficient and timely support following a request by a Member State.”
“We would like to thank EASO for its flexibility and immediate response to each of our requests for support and also the Member States which, in the framework of solidarity, nominated a number of experts, who contributed significantly in the successful implementation of the activities set out in the EASO Special Support Plan to Cyprus.”
Carreira said: “This is a very important day for EASO. It is a milestone for EASO’s on-going efforts to support the country’s asylum system, which has been facing pressure since 2014.”
“We are taking concrete steps to enhance our support and provide tailor-made support for Cyprus. By continuing to work closely together with our Cypriot counterparts, I am confident that all these measures will help to significantly improve the situation in Cyprus.”
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On 28 February 2017, EASO and Cyprus signed an amendment of the EASO Special Support Plan, which provides for further tailor-made support to Cyprus until 31 January 2018.
As part of the agreement, EASO is planning to deploy eight experts at a time, specialized in backlog management.
It has also been deploying simultaneously 2-3 experts at the Kofinou reception centre, assisting in vulnerability assessment, social assistance, and additional capacity building activities.
As a measure of contingency planning, EASO also stands ready to provide operational assistance to Cyprus in the field of registration, screening and reception of persons requesting international protection in case of high number of arrivals.