Crisis Management Department
The Crisis Management Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for assessing a situation/potential crisis and to provide recommendations to the Permanent Secretary for the appropriate actions and necessary operations for the management of each crisis. As the crisis escalates the Crisis Management Department functions entirely under the chairing of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
The crisis in Lebanon, during the summer of 2006, has definitely challenged the ability of Cyprus to organize and coordinate the repatriation of more than 60.000 European citizens and Third County nationals. The successful management of the Lebanon crisis enabled the Ministry to to develop effective methods to manage any crisis and dictated an enhanced cooperation and coordination among the involved Ministries and other governmental services.
Moreover, the formulation of the national plan “ESTIA” were deemed necessary after the events in Lebanon, has been the cornerstone of readiness to confront similar incidents in the near future. The aim of the plan is the coordinated and effective response of the governmental authorities and services in cases of potential mass influx in Cyprus of a number of refugees/ third country nationals from a neighboring country which takes place a political crisis, armed conflict or natural disaster.
The whole coordination of the services that assist the work of Crisis Management Department of the Foreign Ministry is made from the room of the MFA Crisis Center which is fully equipped with all modern means of communications needed for efficient crisis management.
Firstly, it is essential a proper and analytical assessment and evaluation of the incoming information from the embassies located on site or near the crisis area.
On a European level, Member States all together pose the main role of managing a crisis, having also the support of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Furthermore, teleconferences which are often organized by the EEAS and the Presidency of the Council of the EU in rotation, and the network-based platform named CoOL (Consular On-Line – which is an information exchange forum between Member States provided by the Joint Situation Centre or the EU) are used as a reliable source of information for the evaluation of the situation and the immediate course of action.
Οn national level, the National Center for Crisis Management (NCCM), situated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is directly activated with the participation of Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Public Order and Ministry of Interior.
Following the evaluation process of the possible risks, official Travel Advices addressed to all Cypriot citizens are being issued and uploaded on the Ministry’s website.
The Treaty of Lisbon and consular protection for European citizens
The rights of all European citizens concerning consular protection in crises situations are being enshrined and promoted through the article 23 (TFEU) of the Lisbon Treaty, which is considered to be of great importance:
“Every citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a non-EU country in which the Member State of which he is a national is not represented, be entitled to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any Member State, on the same conditions as the nationals of that State.”
The right to obtain consular protection from a Member State under the same conditions as nationals of that Member State is one of the specific rights that the Treaty grants to EU citizens and adds an external dimension to the concept of Union citizenship. It strengthens the idea of European solidarity and the identity of the Union in third countries.
Types of Crises:
1. Terrorist attacks
2. Political unrest or armed conflicts
3. Natural disasters
All the above cases have been handled during the last few years by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led either to the repatriation of citizens of the Republic of Cyprus or, to their tracking down and protection.
In order to identify all Cypriot Citizens located in a crisis area, the Ministry relies on information obtained from:
1. data provided from our Embassies on site
2. the competent authorities of EU Member States or other Third countries
3. travel agencies responsible for organizing excursions to an area under crisis
4. the families of the affected citizens on site and in Cyprus
In case that is necessary, the Ministerial Group is set up (participation of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice and Public Order and the Ministry of Interior) chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs and the mechanisms of the National Crisis Center are being activated whereas the crisis is affecting Cypriot and European citizens or the general interests of the Republic of Cyprus.
Course of Action
In crisis situations the National Crisis Management Center carries out, inter alia actions/operations, the repatriation of Cypriot nationals, if this is necessary, using special flights or requests’ assistance from other member states of EU for the planning joint repatriation operations’ for European citizens.
For further information please contact the Department as follows:
Tel.: +35722801000, +35722801013, +35722401048
Furthermore, useful information can be also found at the Commission’s related website for consular protection and all Travel Advices published by all Member States on certain crises areas):
Another useful communication drafted by the European Commission can be found here:
8 July 2011
Follow us on
No documents found