Deal between the EU and Turkey, but…


One-in… One-out!

Deal on the broad principles of a plan to ease the migration crisis. All migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey would be returned. EU. Turkey would also get extra funding and progress on EU integration. The deal will have been finalised and talks will continue ahead of an EU meeting on 17-18 March.      Source.       [Copyright: No commercial use. Credit 'The European Union']

Deal on the broad principles of a plan to ease the migration crisis. All migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey would be returned. EU. Turkey would also get extra funding and progress on EU integration. The deal will have been finalised and talks will continue ahead of an EU meeting on 17-18 March. Source.
[Copyright: No commercial use. Credit ‘The European Union’]

***

On 7 March 2016, EU heads of state or government held a meeting with Turkey to strengthen their cooperation on the migration and refugee crisis. European Council President Donald Tusk chaired the meeting, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu represented Turkey.

The meeting was followed by an informal meeting of the members of the European Council.

EU leaders discussed the implementation of the EU-Turkey joint action plan. Even if there is good progress to report on a number of actions, the number of illegal entries from Turkey to Greece remains far too high. EU leaders agreed with Prime Minister Davutoglu to strengthen their cooperation to achieve concrete results on the ground.

They welcomed Turkey’s commitment to accept the rapid return of all migrants coming from Turkey to Greece that are not in need of international protection. They also look forward for the establishment of the NATO activity in the Aegean Sea with a view to stemming migrant crossings.

Some new breakthrough proposals to address the migration crisis were also discussed during the meeting. President Tusk was assigned with the task to work out their details before the next European Council.

* the return of all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands

* the acceleration of the implementation of the visa liberalization roadmap

* the decision to speed up the disbursement of the 3 billlion and decide on additional funding for the refugee facility for Syrians

* the preparation for the decision on the opening of new chapters in the accession negotiations

* the consideration of the possibility of establishing humanitarian safe areas in Syria

* the resettlement, for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, of another Syrian from Turkey to the EU

“The return mechanism mentioned above (…) should eventually break the business model of human smugglers,” said President Tusk.

EU leaders also discussed with PM Davutoğlu the situation of the media in Turkey and the importance of freedom of speech and expression. Source.

* [Preliminary remarks by Ahmet DAVUTOĞLU] [Part 2]

* [Preliminary remarks by Donald TUSK]

* [Preliminary remarks by Jean-Claude JUNCKER,]

Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the meeting of the EU heads of state or government with Turkey

We have just finished a summit between Turkey and the European Union. We agreed that despite good implementation of the Joint Action Plan on migration, the flow of migrants passing from Turkey to Greece remains much too high and needs to be brought down significantly. I am happy that we have a common understanding with Prime Minister Davutoğlu on strengthening our cooperation so as to achieve concrete results on the ground within days.

Today we assessed the progress made so far. Last week’s return of migrants from Greece to Turkey was the first visible step of the bilateral agreement becoming more operational and effective. Prime Minister Davutoğlu confirmed Turkey’s commitment to accept the rapid return of all migrants coming from Turkey to Greece that are not in need of international protection. The EU will support Greece in ensuring comprehensive, large scale and fast-track returns to Turkey.

We also welcomed the establishment of the NATO activity in the Aegean Sea and we look forward to its contribution to enhance intelligence and surveillance with a view to stemming migrant crossings. This operation will not work without Turkey’s readiness to take back all irregular migrants who have been apprehended in Turkish waters. Today we were assured that this will be possible. All the above mentioned decisions send a very clear message that the days of irregular migration to the European Union are over.

Furthermore, we welcomed new, bold proposals made today by Turkey to further address this crisis. We agreed to work on the basis of the following principles:

* the return of all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands;

* the acceleration of the implementation of the visa liberalization roadmap;

* the speeding up the disbursement of the 3bn euro and additional funding for the Refugee Facility for Syrians;

* the preparation for the opening of new chapters in the accession negotiations;

* the possibility of establishing in Syria areas which will be more safe;

* And finally to resettle Syrian refugees on a one-for-one basis.

I was assigned by leaders to take forward these proposals and work out the details together with the Turkish side before the next European Council.

We also discussed with Prime Minister Davutoğlu the situation of the media in Turkey. We all know how important freedom of speech and expression are, these are fundamental human rights. Without them, there cannot be the healthy development of any culture, of any society. I am saying all this because we cannot stay indifferent to the concerns raised in this context about what is now happening in Turkey.

Finally, let me stress that our meeting lasted longer not only because of our talks with Turkey but also due to the fact that leaders had a number of important decisions to take. Firstly, I would like to announce the decision by the EU leaders to end the ‘wave-through approach’ which means that the irregular flow of migrants along the Western Balkan route have now come to an end.

To facilitate this change, we agreed to help Greece and to deploy massive humanitarian assistance there. Emergency support to the very difficult humanitarian situation on the ground will be provided urgently. We will also offer further assistance in order to manage the external border in Greece, including those with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania. This is a collective EU responsibility and so Greece will not be left alone.

Déclaration des chefs d’État ou de gouvernement de l’UE

1. Dans le prolongement de leur réunion avec le Premier ministre Davutoğlu, les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement de l’UE ont examiné la situation en matière de migration, en particulier en ce qui concerne la route des Balkans occidentaux. Ils se sont félicités des discussions qu’ils ont tenues avec le Premier ministre turc en ce qui concerne les relations UE Turquie et les progrès réalisés dans la mise en œuvre du plan d’action commun. La Turquie a confirmé qu’elle était résolue à mettre en œuvre l’accord bilatéral gréco-turc de réadmission en vue d’accepter le retour rapide de tous les migrants n’ayant pas besoin d’une protection internationale qui partent de la Turquie pour gagner la Grèce et de reprendre tous les migrants en situation irrégulière appréhendés dans les eaux turques.

Les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement se sont accordés à reconnaître que des mesures audacieuses devaient être prises pour fermer les routes empruntées par les passeurs, démanteler le modèle économique de ceux-ci, protéger nos frontières extérieures et mettre un terme à la crise migratoire en Europe. Nous devons rompre le lien qui existe entre la traversée à bord d’une embarcation et l’installation en Europe.

Aussi les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement ont-ils souligné l’importance que revêt l’action de l’OTAN en mer Égée, qui est devenue opérationnelle aujourd’hui. Ils ont invité tous les membres de l’OTAN à la soutenir activement et se sont félicités vivement des propositions supplémentaires présentées ce jour par la Turquie pour remédier au problème migratoire. Ils sont convenus d’œuvrer sur la base des principes qui y figurent, à savoir:

* renvoyer tous les migrants en situation irrégulière qui partent de la Turquie pour gagner les îles grecques, les coûts encourus étant pris en charge par l’UE;

* procéder, pour chaque Syrien réadmis par la Turquie au départ des îles grecques, à la réinstallation d’un autre Syrien de la Turquie vers les États membres de l’UE, dans le cadre des engagements existants;

* accélérer la mise en œuvre de la feuille de route relative à la libéralisation du régime des visas avec tous les États membres, en vue de supprimer les obligations en matière de visa pour les citoyens turcs au plus tard à la fin du mois de juin 2016;

* accélérer le versement du montant de trois milliards d’euros initialement alloué pour assurer le financement d’une première série de projets avant la fin du mois de mars, et décider de la mise en place d’un financement supplémentaire pour la facilité en faveur des réfugiés syriens;

* préparer dans les meilleurs délais la décision relative à l’ouverture de nouveaux chapitres dans le cadre des négociations d’adhésion, en s’appuyant sur les conclusions du Conseil européen d’octobre 2015;

* collaborer avec la Turquie dans le cadre de tout effort visant à améliorer les conditions humanitaires à l’intérieur de la Syrie et qui permettrait à la population locale et aux réfugiés de vivre dans des zones plus sûres.

Le président du Conseil européen approfondira ces propositions et en définira les modalités avec la Turquie avant le Conseil européen de mars. Ces travaux seront réalisés dans le respect du droit européen et du droit international.

Les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement ont également examiné avec le Premier ministre turc la situation des médias en Turquie.

2. Les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement ont également rappelé que, lors de sa réunion des 18 et 19 février, le Conseil européen a décidé de revenir à une situation où tous les membres de l’espace Schengen appliquent pleinement le code frontières Schengen, tout en tenant compte des particularités des frontières maritimes, et de rompre avec la politique du “laisser passer”. Les flux irréguliers de migrants le long de la route des Balkans occidentaux ont désormais pris fin.

3. Pour que ce processus s’inscrive dans la durée, une action s’impose selon les axes suivants:

a) se tenir aux côtés de la Grèce en ce moment difficile et tout mettre en œuvre pour aider à gérer la situation qui a résulté de ce développement. Il s’agit là d’une responsabilité collective de l’UE qui requiert une mobilisation rapide et efficace de l’ensemble des moyens et ressources dont dispose l’UE ainsi que des contributions des États membres;

b) apporter une réponse immédiate et efficace à la situation humanitaire très difficile, qui évolue rapidement sur le terrain. Une aide d’urgence sera fournie dans les plus brefs délais par la Commission, en étroite coopération avec la Grèce, d’autres États membres et des organisations non gouvernementales sur la base d’une évaluation des besoins réalisée par la Commission et la Grèce et d’un plan d’urgence et d’action. Dans ce contexte, les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement se félicitent de la proposition de la Commission concernant la fourniture d’une aide d’urgence au sein de l’UE et demandent au Conseil de l’adopter avant le Conseil européen de mars, de manière à élargir l’éventail d’instruments financiers susceptibles d’être utilisés; ils invitent l’autorité budgétaire à prendre les mesures de suivi qui seraient nécessaires;

c) fournir une aide supplémentaire à la Grèce pour ce qui est de gérer les frontières extérieures, y compris celles avec l’ancienne République yougoslave de Macédoine et l’Albanie, et d’assurer le bon fonctionnement des “hotspots”, l’identification, l’enregistrement et les contrôles de sécurité devant être effectués à 100 %, ainsi que la fourniture de capacités d’accueil suffisantes. Frontex lancera dès que possible un nouvel appel à agents invités nationaux, et tous les États membres devraient y répondre intégralement pour le 1er avril au plus tard. Europol déploiera rapidement des agents invités dans tous les “hotspots” afin de renforcer les contrôles de sécurité et d’appuyer les autorités grecques dans la lutte contre les passeurs;

d) aider la Grèce à assurer, selon des procédures globales, à grande échelle et accélérées, le retour vers la Turquie de tous les migrants qui sont en situation irrégulière et qui n’ont pas besoin d’une protection internationale, sur la base de l’accord de réadmission entre la Grèce et la Turquie et, à partir du 1er juin, de l’accord de réadmission entre l’UE et la Turquie;

e) accélérer sensiblement la mise en œuvre de la relocalisation afin d’alléger la lourde charge qui pèse actuellement sur la Grèce. Le Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile (EASO) lancera un nouvel appel à expertise nationale pour soutenir le régime d’asile grec, et tous les États membres devraient y répondre rapidement et intégralement. Les États membres sont également invités à prévoir de toute urgence davantage de places à des fins de relocalisation. La Commission rendra compte chaque mois au Conseil de la mise en œuvre des engagements en matière de relocalisation;

f) continuer à coopérer étroitement avec les pays des Balkans occidentaux non membres de l’UE et fournir toute aide nécessaire;

g) mettre en œuvre les engagements existants en matière de réinstallation et poursuivre les travaux sur un programme volontaire crédible d’admission à titre humanitaire avec la Turquie;

h) prendre immédiatement toute mesure nécessaire en ce qui concerne de nouvelles routes qui pourraient s’ouvrir et intensifier la lutte contre les passeurs;

i) faire progresser, en priorité, tous les éléments de la feuille de route de la Commission sur un “retour à Schengen”, de manière à mettre un terme aux contrôles aux frontières intérieures réintroduits à titre temporaire et à rétablir le fonctionnement normal de l’espace Schengen avant la fin de l’année.

Le présent document n’établit aucun nouvel engagement pour les États membres en matière de relocalisation et de réinstallation.

4. Il s’agit de mesures urgentes qui doivent être prises compte tenu de la situation actuelle sur le terrain et qui devraient être régulièrement réexaminées. Le Conseil européen reviendra sur le dossier des migrations sous tous ses aspects lors de sa réunion de mars afin de consolider encore la mise en œuvre commune au niveau européen de notre stratégie globale en matière de migrations.

Statement of the EU Heads of State or Government, 07/03/2016

1. Following their meeting with Prime Minister Davutoğlu, the EU Heads of State or Government addressed the migration situation, in particular as regards the Western Balkans route. They welcomed their discussion with the Turkish Prime Minister on EU-Turkey relations and on the progress made in the implementation of the Joint Action Plan. Turkey confirmed its commitment in implementing the bilateral Greek-Turkish readmission agreement to accept the rapid return of all migrants not in need of international protection crossing from Turkey into Greece and to take back all irregular migrants apprehended on Turkish waters.

The Heads of State or Government agreed that bold moves were needed to close down people smuggling routes, to break the business model of the smugglers, to protect our external borders and to end the migration crisis in Europe. We need to break the link between getting in a boat and getting settlement in Europe.

That is why they underlined the importance of the NATO activity in the Aegean Sea that became operational today. They called on all members of NATO to support it actively. They warmly welcomed the additional proposals made today by Turkey to address the migration issue. They agreed to work on the basis of the principles they contain:

* to return all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands with the costs covered by the EU;

* to resettle, for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian from Turkey to the EU Member States, within the framework of the existing commitments;

* to accelerate the implementation of the visa liberalization roadmap with all Member States with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016;

* to speed up the disbursement of the initially allocated 3 billion euros to ensure funding of a first set of projects before the end of March and decide on additional funding for the Refugee Facility for Syrians;

* to prepare for the decision on the opening of new chapters in the accession negotiations as soon as possible, building on the October 2015 European Council conclusions;

* to work with Turkey in any joint endeavour to improve humanitarian conditions inside Syria which would allow for the local population and refugees to live in areas which will be more safe.

The President of the European Council will take forward these proposals and work out the details with the Turkish side before the March European Council. This work will respect European and international law.

The EU Heads of State or Government also discussed with the Turkish Prime Minister the situation of the media in Turkey.

2. Heads of State or Government further recalled that the European Council, at its meeting on 18-19 February, decided to get back to a situation where all Members of the Schengen area fully apply the Schengen Borders Code, while taking into account the specificities of the maritime borders, and to end the wave-through approach. Irregular flows of migrants along the Western Balkans route have now come to an end.

3. In order to make this sustainable, action is required along the following lines:

a) stand by Greece, in this difficult moment and do our utmost to help manage the situation that has arisen as a consequence of this development. This is a collective EU responsibility requiring fast and efficient mobilisation of all available EU means and resources and of Member States’ contributions;

b) provide an immediate and effective response to the very difficult humanitarian situation which is rapidly developing on the ground. Emergency support will be provided urgently by the Commission, in close cooperation with Greece, other Member States and non-governmental organisations on the basis of an assessment, by the Commission and Greece, of the needs and a contingency and response plan. In this context, Heads of State or Government welcome the Commission proposal on the provision of emergency support within the EU and call on the Council to adopt it before the March European Council, thus expanding the range of financial instruments that can be used; they invite the budgetary authority to take any necessary follow-up measures;

c) provide further assistance to Greece in managing the external borders, including those with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania, and ensuring the proper functioning of hotspots, with 100% identification, registration and security checks, and the provision of sufficient reception capacities. Frontex will launch an additional call for national guest officers as soon as possible and all Member States should respond in full by 1 April at the latest. Europol will rapidly deploy guest officers in all hotspots to reinforce security checks and support the Greek authorities in the fight against smugglers;

d) assist Greece in ensuring comprehensive, large scale and fast-track returns to Turkey of all irregular migrants not in need of international protection, building on the Greece-Turkey readmission agreement and, from 1 June, the EU-Turkey readmission agreement;

e) accelerate substantially the implementation of relocation to alleviate the heavy burden that presently weighs on Greece. EASO will launch a further call for national expertise to support the Greek asylum system and all Member States should respond rapidly and in full. Member States are also invited to provide more places for relocation as a matter of urgency. The Commission will report on a monthly basis to the Council on the implementation of relocation commitments;

f) continue to cooperate closely with the non-EU countries of the Western Balkans and provide any necessary assistance;

g) implement the existing resettlement commitments and continue work on a credible voluntary humanitarian admission programme with Turkey;

h) take any necessary measures immediately in respect of any new routes opening up, and step up the fight against smugglers;

i) take forward, as a matter of priority, all the elements of the Commission roadmap on getting “back to Schengen”, so as to end temporary internal border controls and re-establish the normal functioning of the Schengen area before the end of the year.

This document does not establish any new commitments on Member States as far as relocation and resettlement is concerned.

4. These are urgent measures that have to be taken against the background of the present situation on the ground and should be kept under review. The European Council will come back to the migration file in all its aspects at the March European Council to further consolidate the joint European implementation of our comprehensive migration strategy.

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