Thursday, 28 July 2011

EASO Executive Director talks of up-coming Cyprus EU Presidency

Yesterday's Cyprus Mail carried a new item regarding statements made by Dr. Rob Visser, EASO Executive Director, during his trip to Cyprus.  The comments were made during a joint press conference with Cyprus Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis, following a meeting they had earlier in the morning.  

It's a short article, so we'll reproduce here in its entirety:

"EUROPEAN Asylum Support Office Executive Director Robert Visser said here on Tuesday that the Cyprus EU Presidency, in the second half of 2012, would have a significant role to play in the adoption of the bloc’s new asylum package.

Visser was speaking at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis after a meeting yesterday morning.

Visser said his presence in Cyprus was very important because, as one of the frontline EU states, the island had a specific role to play in the subject of illegal migration and asylum.

“Within the EU we are working on the Common European Asylum System, the new asylum package has just been launched by the Commission and for Cyprus and its Presidency next year there certainly will be a glorious role to play,” he said.

“The goal of this process is that within the EU, on all places, there are equal operational practices for equal rights and equal procedures to all who ask for the same sort of protection”, Visser explained, giving the example of Greece where an extensive two year programme in place to help the country set up a new asylum and reception system.

Sylikiotos said Cyprus was looking forward to “the cooperation and the support of EASO as an EU member state which is under pressure as far as asylum is concerned”.

“Cyprus strongly supports the need for a European Common Asylum System”, he added. “This ought to be finalised by 2012”. Sylikiotis said this would be one of Cyprus’ EU Presidency priorities."

There is more information in this report from the Famagusta Gazette.

Visser is right, the Cyprus Presidency could play a major role in the finalisation of CEAS.  All fingers are crossed, and best of luck to the Cypriots!

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