Turkey takes illegally entered migrants from the EU – and in return, up to 72,000 Syrians can legally enter Europe. In addition, the EU-Turkey refugee pact includes billions in aid and offers Turkey visa simplifications. An overview.
Taking back refugees
Turkey undertakes to take back all refugees and migrants arriving in the Greek islands after March 20th. According to Chancellor Angela Merkel, the repatriation should begin on April 4th. All refugees are first registered in Greece and their concerns are examined individually.
People who do not apply for asylum in Greece and whose application is unfounded or not admissible will be returned. The EU pays its return travel costs. According to the EU, the return of refugees is in full compliance with EU and international law.
For every Syrian who comes to Greece from Turkey after the deadline and is then taken back by Turkey, another Syrian is to be accepted by the EU directly from Turkey. The refugees should then be divided among the member states. For the time being, however, the regulation should only apply to 72,000 Syrians. When this number is reached, the EU wants to suspend "barter trade". The relocation is to be organized under the supervision of the United Nations and with the participation of experts from the EU.
Objective of the return agreement: It should become unattractive for civil war refugees to make their way to the EU on their own and with the help of smugglers. Because those who are sent back forfeit the chance of legal migration to the EU.
If it works with the 1: 1 procedure to bring the number of refugees towards zero, the EU wants to check in a second step whether a contingent of civil war refugees can be taken directly from Turkey. The country is already home to around 2.7 million Syrians.
EU offers to Turkey
- The planned easing of visa regulations for Turks in the EU is to be accelerated – with the aim of lifting the visa requirement by the end of June. To this end, the EU Commission is to present a recommendation by the end of April as to whether Turkey meets the necessary requirements.
- Another chapter in the EU accession negotiations with Turkey is to be opened in the first half of the year. A total of 35 chapters on various policy areas have to be negotiated before Turkey can join the EU. Only one has been completed so far. The main obstacle to accession – apart from political resistance – is Turkey’s refusal to recognize the EU member Cyprus.
- In addition to the swift disbursement of the agreed three billion euros for the care of Syrian refugees, the EU is offering Turkey another three billion euros as follow-up funding in 2018. The money should only be used for specific refugee projects in Turkey.