EU Heads of State and Government hold a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu as part of the reinforcement of high-level dialogue agreed in the statement of the EU-Turkey meeting on 29 November.
The EU and Turkey are expected to underline the need to fully implement the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan to deliver a sustainable and sufficient reduction in the flow of irregular migration.
The meeting will be followed by an informal European Council where leaders are expected to give their support to the proposals presented by the Commission last week for a faster, more targeted response to major crises, including helping Member States, such as Greece, to cope with large numbers of refugees and to endorse the Commission’s Roadmap for returning to a normal functioning of the Schengen area by the end of 2016 at the latest.
The leaders are also expected to strengthen their commitment to implementing the resettlement and emergency relocation schemes agreed in 2015, based on the proposals presented under the Commission’s European Agenda on Migration. In this regard, the Commission welcomes the news that 214 successful relocations from Greece to France, Portugal and Lithuania over the weekend have brought the total number of relocations to date to 874.
President Juncker will also highlight the importance of working quickly to deliver on the European Border and Coast Guard in order to have it operational this summer. Press conferences will take place following the working lunch with Turkey and following the informal European Council and can be followed live on EbS. [Source.]
Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini
We have today an important point on the agenda: making sure that all that has been agreed with Turkey is implemented, related to the Joint Action Plan and the refugee crisis, and in particular the need to make it sustainable in the immediate term and in the long run – the protection of the refugees and the management of the flow, with the disruption of the network of traffickers.
This is why, let me remind you once again, the European Union is allocating 3€ billion – not to the government of Turkey, but to projects to support refugees and their lives.
Our relation with Turkey is a complex one and a complete one, as Turkey is in itself a complex country. We have several different issues on the table and we discuss with all of the country. I was glad this morning to meet Mr Selahattin Demirtaş, opposition leader, to discuss also with him the perspectives of the relationship between Turkey and the European Union.
We are working together on the Syrian War, trying to put an end to the 5 year old conflict there – this is a top priority for the European Union.
We are working together also with Turkey as a candidate country and here we have internal developments we are following very closely from the European Union’s side.
There is the need to restart the Kurdish peace process. The European Union recognises that the PKK is a terrorist organisation, but there is the need to re-engage – from the Turkish authority’s side – with the Kurdish political representatives, the ones that express their position in a peaceful way inside the institutions, to give a perspective to the Kurdish issue inside the country. We believe this is a priority. We will discuss this with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also today.
There is a need for Turkey to respond to the call from the European Union side, as a candidate country, to respect the highest standards when it comes to democracy, rule of law, fundamental freedoms, starting with the freedom of expression and the freedom of association. These are core values of the European Union, any candidate country has to stick to these principles and values and work concretely to promote them within its borders.
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