Luxembourg, October 14, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
The Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr Ionas Nicolaou, participated in a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs, held in Luxembourg on 13 and 14 October 2016.
During the first day of Council’s proceedings, Ministers discussed migration issues and in particular the shortfalls in the implementation of the different migration measures adopted so far in European level in order for the migration crisis to be faced. They paid particular attention to the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, the state of play on relocation and resettlement and the Union Resettlement Framework regulation, as well as the situation in Italy and Greece and the calls by member states to increase the number of experts. Ministers held also a debate on the Common European Asylum System reform.
In a working lunch, Ministers exchanged views on the external dimension of migration and expressed views on the state of implementation of the Migration Partnership Framework on migration with the priority countries Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
In an intervention, Cyprus Minister of Justice stressed that Cyprus supports the implementation of pacts with countries that need EU support in order to improve their socio-economic infrastructure in a way that will lead to a long-term growth.
Welcoming the agreement with Afghanistan and evaluating the success of such pacts, Mr Nicolaou further noted that due to the great migration pressure on the EU and the practical difficulties experienced regarding relocation and resettlement in some of the Asian countries, Cyprus would welcome similar pacts to be signed with Asian countries such as Pakistan and Iran in the near future. The issue gave an opportunity for a diversity of opinions to be expressed, highlighting the great differences existing amongst member states on how the migration issue is best to be addressed.
During the second day of Council’s proceedings, Ministers discussed issues related to Justice. The regulation on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and the directive on the protection of the financial interests of the Union by means of criminal law (PIF) were the main issues of discussion.
In relation to the proposal for a regulation establishing a European Prosecutor, the Minister of Justice expressed Cyprus’ support towards reaching a compromised text regarding cooperation with Eurojust; cooperation with third countries and non-participating member states; and the judicial review. He further reiterated Cyprus’ concerns on the proposed process of collecting evidence and the admissibility of evidence material.