EU, Turkey Leaders Agree on Migrant Crisis Deal
The European Council has said an agreement was reached between all 28 countries of the bloc and Turkey on a deal that is expected to ease pressure that hundreds of thousands of migrants have been applying on Europe over the past year.
Now unanimous agreement between all EU HoSG and Turkey's PM on EU-Turkey Statement— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 18, 2016
A press conference on the finalized deal is due at 15:20 GMT, according to Preben Aamann, EU Council President Donal Tusk's spokesperson.
A European Council meeting is taking place on Thursday and Friday, with EU leaders having smoothed out differences before meeting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the second day.
Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipil? was the first EU leader to make the announcement on Twitter, saying the agreement had been reached. An official confirmation has yet to be made by other member states.
Turkki-sopimus hyv?ksyttiin.— Juha Sipil? (@juhasipila) March 18, 2016
It was not immediately clear whether objections by several member states, such as Bulgaria and Cyprus, had been dropped. Bulgaria in particular demands that a deal include stepped up measures at its borders with Turkey, and not only between Turkey and Greece as initially planned.
At a meeting with Davutoglu last week, EU leaders agreed in principle to step up cooperation with Turkey in stemming the migrant flow from Turkey into Europe, with the deal to be finalized at this week's European Council.
Apart from the implementation of the EU-Turkey Action Plan, the EU leaders also agreed on the full application of the Schengen Borders Code, closure of the Western Balkan migrant route and reinforcement of humanitarian assistance to Greece.
The so-called “one-in, one-out” deal foresees the return of all migrants traveling to Greece from Turkey, the rule entering into force on Sunday (March 20) midnight. For each Syrian returned to Turkey, another Syrian already in Turkey will be resettled in the EU.
In exchange for accepting the deal, the EU has proposed to double the financial aid it had previously promised to Turkey from EUR 3 B to EUR 6 B, accelerate the negotiations for Ankara's accession to the EU and provide Turkish citizens with vise-free access to countries from the Schengen Area.
The process of both sending back those who reached Turkey and relocation of Syrian refugees from Turkish camps is to begin over the weekend.
EU leaders say the deal will be implemented in accordance with international law.
Ankara is now expected to submit a budget proposal to inform Brussels about how it intends to spend the money.
A new chapter of Turkey's accession talks with the EU, No. 33 (Budgetary and Financial Affairs), by June.
- » The EU Fined Google with 1.49 Billion Euros
- » EC: The Situation on the Balkan Refugee Route is Stable
- » EC: If Britain has not Left the EU by May, it has to Elect MEPs
- » Britain and the EU have Reached a Compromise on Brexit
- » Mariya Gabriel: 61% of European Citizens Are Afraid of Cyber-Attacks During the European Elections
- » The EU has Aapproved a Reduction in Wire Transfer Fees
Apparently, closing the borders exactly as the whole world does, is far too much common sense for the idiot leaders in the EU. They aren't that smart. In fact they are treasonous.
The new Fuhrer is over compensating for the old Fuhrer. But actually, she's doing exactly the same in reverse.
Just close the borders exactly as the whole world does. If you try to cross Mexico/US or any other border illegally, you risk imprisonment or even being shot. Same should work for the EU, but German elites' naive idealism is, again, becoming a problem for Europe.