Saturday

3rd Dec 2016

Turkish PM in Brussels for migration talks next week

  • Turkey's PM Davutoglu is set to arrive in Brussels next week (Photo: European council)

Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is set to meet leaders from a handful of EU states ahead of an EU summit in Brussels next week.

“The prime minister will be coming to attend the like-minded countries' group meeting,” a Turkish government contact told EUobserver on Tuesday (9 February).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A similar pre-summit meeting was held last December with Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Greece, France, Portugal, Slovenia and the Netherlands at the Austrian permanent representation in Brussels.

The Turkish contact said Davutoglu would be in Brussels next Thursday (18 February) to discuss wider issues on migration at the margins of the EU summit.

His arrival will follow a separate meeting on 17 February that will set the funding priorities for projects under a €3 billion deal between the EU and Ankara on improving the lives of Syrian refugees inside Turkey.

The contact said a big chunk of the money may go towards financing education, given the some 700,000 school-aged Syrian children in Turkey.

Turkey is hoping to get visa restrictions on its nationals lifted in October. The EU wants to start returning people this summer who transited through Turkey to claim asylum in the EU but are not entitled to international protection.

Meanwhile, the European Commission will present on Wednesday (10 February) a broad overview of progress on EU migration policies in Greece, the Balkans and Turkey.

Also on Wednesday, Nato will discuss possible support for patrolling the Aegean, after the idea was raised by Germany and Turkey on Monday.

In a phone talk with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said he agreed on the plan on the condition that it "will concern Turkish territorial waters, and should by no means affect Greece's sovereign rights".

Greece

A week before the next EU summit, member states are also mulling the next steps on Greece.

EU states may adopt on Friday a report by the commission that criticises Greece's management of its frontiers.

If adopted, Greece will have three months to sort out the problems. Failure may push the EU to extend the time-frame for internal border checks to two years.

Greece said it would complete its five arrival screening centres known as hotspots by Monday (15 February). Greek media report some of the centres, located on the Aegean islands, are far behind schedule.

The hotspots are key to getting the stalled EU relocation plan to distribute 160,000 asylum seekers among EU states up and running.

But even then, outstanding political issues remain, with some member states, particularly in the east, reluctant to accept Muslims.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security