Turkey to Step up Cooperation with Neighbours from EU on Migrants' Readmission
Turkey intends to intensify cooperation with Bulgaria, Greece and Romania to smoothly readmit irregular migrants who don’t need international protection and have been intercepted by the authorities of the three EU member states, according to a Turkey-EU draft action plan.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker handed over the blueprint for stepping up cooperation in coping with the migrant influx to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday in Brussels.
Under the plan, Turkey also intends to step up cooperation with Bulgarian and Greek authorities to prevent irregular migration across their common land borders by effectively implementing the tri-partite agreement signed in May 2015, the EU Commission said in a statement.
The Turkish government also intends to strengthen the visa requirements and residence rules applicable in Turkey to nationals from countries that are potentially source of irregular migration for Turkey and the EU.
The action plan elaborated jointly by the European Union and Turkey reflects their agreement to step up cooperation on support of refugees and migration management in a coordinated effort to address the unprecedented refugee crisis created by the situation in Syria and Iraq.
Work is ongoing to reach agreement on the details of the plan which is offering a two-pronged approach to addressing the crisis: by supporting the refugees and their host communities in Turkey and by boosting cooperation to prevent irregular migration flows to the EU.
Turkey has already spent more than EUR 6.75 B of its own funds to address the crisis. The influx of refugees from Syria and Iraq into Turkey has exceeded 2.2 million to date.
Under the plan, the EU intends to mobilise up to EUR 1 B for the period 2015-16 to support Turkey in coping with the challenge represented by the presence of Syrian and Iraqi refugees on the country’s territory. The identification of the funds to be mobilised and the areas where they should be allocated will be discussed and agreed with the Turkish authorities.
In this respect, priority will be given to the opening of the six refugee reception centres built with the EU co-funding, according to the statement.
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