Tuesday

25th Sep 2018

EU unveils Turkey migration plan

  • Erdogan hugs it out with Commission chief Juncker in Brussels earlier this week (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The European Commission published on Tuesday (6 October) a detailed list of actions that Turkey and the EU should take to stem the flow of migrants, just as EU Council Donal Tusk warned in Strasbourg that another 3 million refugees could come from Syria if Bashar Al-Assad’s regime wins.

The “Action Plan” was agreed in principle by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his visit to Brussels on Monday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Next week, high-level talks will start between Turkey and the Commission to hammer out the details of the deal.

The plan offers Turkey financial assistance, on top of the €1 billion already committed, to “weaken the push factors” - bad conditions in refugee camps in the region forcing migrants and refugees to move towards Europe.

Under the plan the EU would assist Turkey to strengthen its capacity to combat migrant smuggling by reinforcing the Turkish Coast Guard’s interception capacity.

Commission sources say over the last nine months more than 350,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Syria, have left Turkey for Greece, and only 50,000 were stopped by Turkish border authorities.

The plan also foresees a liaison officer in Turkey for Frontex, the EU’s external border agency to exchange information on smugglers networks.

It lays out plans to organise joint return operations between Turkey and EU member states towards countries of origins of migrants who are not eligible for asylum.

On the other hand, the plan asks Turkey to register migrants, provide them with documents, and complete their asylum procedures.

It says priority will be given to the opening of the six refugee reception centers built with European co-funding.

It would also like to see Turkey implement policies that will help refugees integrate into Turkish society. This includes access to work, education, and public services.

The plan asks Turkey to smoothly readmit irregular migrants who don’t need international protection and who were caught in neighboring Greece, Bulgaria or further north, Romania.

It promises to accelerate the visa liberalisation for Turkey, once the plan is implemented.

The implementation will be monitored by the European Commission, along with EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini and the Turkish government.

The plan was unveiled as EU Council President Donald Tusk made a stark warning in the European Parliament on Tuesday.

“A potential victory of Assad’s regime, more likely today because of Iran’s and Russia’s engagement in Syria, will result in the next migratory wave. According to Turkish estimates, another 3 million potential refugees may come from Aleppo and its neighborhood,” the former Polish prime minister said in a speech.

“We finally have to understand it, today millions of potential refugees and migrants are dreaming about Europe, not only from Syria, but also from Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and other places, “ he added.

“For all refugees, easy access to Europe and lack of external borders have become, besides the wilkommenpolitik, a magnate attracting them to us, “ said Tusk criticizing Germany’s open door policy as an invitation to refugees and migrants.

He also stressed the need to protect the EU’s external border as a precondition for an “effective, humanitarian and safe migratory policy.”

“Let us have no illusions. Today, we have to count mainly on ourselves. The world around us doesn’t intend to help Europe. We are slowly becoming witnesses to the birth of a new form of political pressure, and some even call it a kind of a new hybrid war, in which migratory waves have become a tool, a weapon against neighbors. This requires particular sensitivity and responsibility on our side,” Tusk said.

Turkey targets Kurdish rebels after bomb attack

Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish rebel targets after the bomb attack over the weekend in Ankara, for which the government blames Islamic State. Ankara vows elections on 1 November will go ahead.

News in Brief

  1. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group
  2. Half of EU states at risk of missing recycling target
  3. Commission refers Poland to EU top court over rule of law
  4. Open Society Foundation takes Hungary to court
  5. EU court asked to rule on halting Brexit
  6. EU threatens Switzerland on stock trading
  7. Italy's new basic wage restricted to Italians
  8. UK tycoon offers to create pro-Brexit party

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  2. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  3. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  4. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  5. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  6. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  7. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  8. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  5. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  6. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  9. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  11. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us