Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus Launch Joint Initiative For Migrants in the Eastern Mediterranean
Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria have decided to launch a joint initiative for migrants in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek Ministry of Citizens Protection announced in a press release. The initiative will be presented to the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the European Union on 7-8 October in Luxembourg.
This is the first joint initiative by Member States on the frontline of the critical migration route in the Eastern Mediterranean, the release said.
The aim of the initiative is to highlight the European dimension of the major challenge of migration that Europe faces in frontline Member States in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The three countries are seeking to increase sensitivity and activate their European partners, the Commission and the other European institutions on the increasing, continuing and clearly disproportionate migration challenges facing the three countries, especially in comparison with other Mediterranean and EU regions.
The initiative aims to take concrete EU action within the framework of Community solidarity and responsibility with a fair burden distribution through the redistribution of migrants, through a strong return policy to third countries of origin and by more generally strengthening the countries most affected.
The Communication recalls that, according to recent reports from the European Commission and the European External Action Service, between 11 August and 1 September, 1,133 migrants arrived along the route in the Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic, 1,369 via the Central Mediterranean and 4,879 via the Mediterranean Mediterranean. This trend is still present.
In addition, the three countries declare effective implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration of 2016 by:
- eradicating migrant trafficking networks to the EU,
- preventing diversion of migrant flows and establishing new routes for migration by sea, land and air across Europe and the Member States,
- Ensure effective return of migrants.
Within this framework, the three countries encourage the EU and the other Member States to consider positively the further allocation of resources to countries from the whole region through which the migration route into the Eastern Mediterranean flows, based on jointly agreed commitments.
Athens, Nicosia and Sofia also want more funding to be addressed in the Community budget currently under discussion for the refugee and migrant problem (Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2026)
The three countries' initiative is an intervention - a contribution to the new European Commission's migration policy debates.
The Communication says the proposal by Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, called the "EMMRI", will be formally and fully presented with the specific text of the Justice and Home Affairs Council " next week.
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