Frontex support in Cyprus


Last week, EU Commission Vice-President Schinas met with Frontex officers working at the Pournara first reception centre during his visit to Cyprus. The standing corps officers deployed to the reception centre support the Cypriot authorities with the identification and screening of migrants and collect information Frontex’s risk analysis activities.

Frontex has been assisting Cyprus with migration management since 2019, following a request for support after migratory pressure facing the island had significantly increased the previous year. Since then, the flow of arrivals has not showed signs of slowing down. In 2021, the total yearly arrivals more than doubled from 2020 and a similar increase has been observed this year as well. Between January and April 2022, the number of migrants arriving in Cyprus was 119% more than in the same period last year.

Frontex has stood with Cyprus to respond to this challenge and increased its operational support. Currently, the agency runs three operations on the island to assist the Cypriot authorities not only with the registration of migrants, but also with return-related matters and the detection of document fraud.

Michael, a coordinating officer, has been involved in the agency’s operational response in Cyprus since the very beginning. “Due to my previous experience in migration management activities at the Greek land and sea borders, I was asked to establish and coordinate the new operation in Cyprus in 2019. Since then, our presence on the island has grown from three officers to over 20. With the deployment of various profiles, we have been able to provide a high level of assistance to the Cypriot authorities,” he explains.

“For example, Frontex’s registration and fingerprinting officers have provided vital support in registrations, especially during periods of high migratory pressure. Our experts have also identified potential victims of human trafficking and supported the local authorities with return operations. Only in 2021, Cyprus carried out 104 return operations with our assistance.”