Saturday

23rd Jan 2021

EU finalises €3bn fund for Turkey refugees

  • EU payments won't amount to direct budgetary support for Turkey (Photo: Moyan Brenn)

After much bickering among member states and the European Commission, the 28-country bloc agreed Wednesday (3 February) on the financing details of the refugee facility for Turkey, designed to improve conditions for refugees and migrants.

The facility, agreed last November in exchange for Ankara's help in stemming the influx of people into Europe, is aimed at delivering humanitarian assitance to refugee camps in Turkey.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The breakdown of contributions from EU member states to the Turkey fund (Photo: European Commission)

Details on the financing have been holding up the project.

The biggest contributor is Germany, on €427.5 million. The UK gives €327.6 million. France contributes €309.2 million.

Cyprus (split in two after Turkey invaded north Cyprus in 1974) will not contribute. But it will pay € 2.3 million into EU aid for Jordan and Lebanon refugee facilities.

Italy was the last country to agree on the Turkey fund.

It did so after the commission made clear the contributions will not be taken into account for the calculation of a member state's deficit under EU fiscal rules.

The Italian contribution is €224.9 million.

"Turkey now hosts one of the world's largest refugee communities and has committed to significantly reducing the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU," Johannes Hahn, EU neighbourhod commissioner said.

Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans said: "The money we are putting on the table will directly benefit Syrian refugees in Turkey, helping to improve their access to education and healthcare in particular.”

Brussels and EU countries hope that better conditions in Turkish camps will mean fewer people risk the perilous sea crossing from Turkey to Greek islands.

Germany has the biggest stake because most people want to claim asylum there.

The commission originally proposed to contribute €500 million to the Turkey facility.

But member states, in December, talked it up to €1 billion.

The other €2 billion will be paid by member states according to the size of their economies, as with their normal EU budget contributions.

Wednesday's agreement makes it possible for the commission to start providing assistance from early 2016.

The money is being earmarked specificically for refugee camps and doesn’t amount to direct budgetary support for Turkey.

Commission boosts Turkey fund stake to €1bn

EU member states are continuing to discuss how best to finance a Turkey fund worth the €3bn. Under pressure from EU countries, the commission proposed a contribution of €1bn from the EU budget.

Germany, Turkey want Nato help to police coast

Germany and Turkey want to stop people-smugglers in the Aegean Sea, as tens of thousands of new Syria refugees mass on Turkey's borders amid Assad's siege of Aleppo.

Turkish PM in Brussels for migration talks next week

A mini-summit is under preparation as the EU Commission will unveil on Wednesday a progress report on migration policies. Questions persist over a €3 billion deal with Turkey and the future of Greece in the Schengen area.

EU Parliament pressing for inquiry into Frontex

MEPs are drumming up support for an inquiry into the EU's controversial border and coast guard agency, Frontex. So far, the Greens, the left-wing GUE, and Renew Europe are on board - amid expectations the centre-left S&D will also join.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary buys Russia's Sputnik V vaccine
  2. Netherlands imposes curfew to halt new corona variant
  3. Green NGO fails to stop Europe's biggest gas burner
  4. Swedish minister reminds Europe of Russia's war
  5. Spain: Jesuit order apologises for decades of sexual abuse
  6. NGOs urge Borrell to address Egypt rights 'crisis'
  7. EU conflict-area education aid favours boys
  8. EU told to avoid hydrogen in building renovations

EU demands answers on Croat border attacks against migrants

EU commissioner Ylva Johansson wants to send her officials to Croatia sometime this month to make sure authorities there are complying with fundamental rights following numerous allegations of violence against migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross into the country.

EU watchdog launches probe on Croat border violence

The European Ombudsman is launching a case into the lack of proper oversight by the European Commission when it comes to how fundamental rights of migrants and refugees are allegedly being violated by Croat border police.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  2. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  6. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice

Latest News

  1. EU leaders keep open borders, despite new corona variant risk
  2. EU and Cuba appeal for Biden to open up
  3. Portugal's EU presidency marks return of corporate sponsors
  4. MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute
  5. EU warns UK to be 'very careful' in diplomatic status row
  6. A digital euro - could it happen?
  7. US returns to climate deal and WHO, as EU 'rejoices'
  8. Big tech: From Trump's best friend to censorship machine?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us