EU takes again positive action on migration crisis while Turkey asks for dear favors in exchange for cooperation

3420th Foreign Affairs Council (Development). EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Development meet in Luxembourg on 26 October 2015 to focus on humanitarian affairs, migration and development, the future EU-ACP relationship and gender in development. From left to right: Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Neven MIMICA, Member of the European Commission (TVNewsroom EU Council, 26/10/2015)

3420th Foreign Affairs Council (Development). EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Development meet in Luxembourg on 26 October 2015 to focus on humanitarian affairs, migration and development, the future EU-ACP relationship and gender in development.
From left to right: Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Neven MIMICA, Member of the European Commission (TVNewsroom EU Council, 26/10/2015)

A mini-summit took place in Brussels last weekend involving the Western Balkan countries and aiming at tackling the escalating migration crisis in the EU. The outcome was the promotion of a 17-point plan which aspires to tackle the issue.

The problem that keeps on lingering though is whether the EU countries will look at the greater good of the bloc or their personal, political and territorial interests will prevail as currently is the situation. The time is running out for thousands of refugees since the rough European winter will be soon creating hostile conditions for people trying to flee from war zones in Middle East and Africa.

The European Commission (EC) together with the European Parliament (EP) decided to provide financial aid to Greece to shelter 20.000 migrants in addition to the 30.000 ones who had been already accepted in the last summit.  However, the amount of people coming from Turkey is much greater and more effective actions are needed.

The enhancement of the EU-Turkey relationship that is undertaken mainly by Angela Merkel is a good start and focuses on moving refugees directly from Turkey to the EU easying the burden of countries that lie in-between and most of all reducing the number of deaths in the Aegean sea. The big thorn though of this plan is how determined is the EU to exchange the latter with visa-free travel for Turkish students and businessmen and continuation of the negotiations for the Turkish membership in the EU, as Turkey demands.

Another migration summit and more measures

Only during last week, 56.000 refugees moved to the Greek islands in a desperate attempt to migrate before the beginning of the winter which could be literally a death voyage for them. This incident was enough to motivate President Juncker to convene the leaders of Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia to discuss and find immediate solutions to the migration problem that torments the Old Continent.

Mr Juncker promoted this as a most of all humanitarian issue and urged the leaders to collaborate with each other and implement the required measures so as to deal with this efficiently. More specifically, Mr Juncker mentioned during the Western Balkans Migration Route summit: “Countries affected should not only talk about and at each other but also with each other. Neighbours should work together not against each other. Refugees need to be treated in a humane manner along the length of the Western Balkans route to avoid a humanitarian tragedy in Europe. I am therefore pleased that today we were able to jointly agree on a 17-point plan of pragmatic and operational measures to ensure people are not left to fend for themselves in the rain and cold.”

The 17-point plan basically focuses on better communication of the involving countries regarding migration waves, shelter supply to refugees by using the European funds and mainly more efficient management of the migrants in such a way that aid will be provided only to those who really meet the international protection law requirements.

The majority of the plan’s points target at this crisis superficially. Issues such as migration flows information, border management, financing of the countries in need, tackling smuggling and trafficking  are measures that deal with migration as a temporary issue and do not aim at its roots, something that could solve this problem once and for all.

However, it must be mentioned that the EU continues providing more handy financial means and human resources that surely result in hiding the true uncontrollable impact of the problem under the carpet.

Refugee crisis: EU’s 2016 priority

One of the priorities of the EU now is to tackle migration crisis which is plaguing the bloc. The EP’s committee proposes a €157.4 billion budget for 2016 and about €1.2 billion are proposed by the EC to be assigned to the migration crisis, which includes the implementation of actions such as redistributing refugees between European member states. Further, the EP will propose adding €900 million to this project.

The aforementioned amount of money would be distributed not only to the improvement of the refugees’ admission and life conditions but most importantly to the funding of foreign affairs aiming at countries outside the EU. The latter, if implemented correctly, could tackle the causes of this crisis and manage to save thousands of lives.

EU-Turkey relations

The migration talks with Turkey fostered by the powerful German Chancellor have a great potential. Angela Merkel, who is often accepted to act on top of President Juncker and President Tusk combined, is preparing now a deal of billions of euros with Turkey whose purpose is to accommodate more refugees in Europe.

This ambitious plan has some very difficult parts though. In order to achieve this agreement, the EU has to provide with visa-free travel for Turkish students and businessmen and re-open the negotiations for the Turkish entrance in the EU.

What is more, Alexis Tsipras, this controversial new political figure of the EU, mentioned during the Western Balkans meeting that Turkey should have been invited also to Brussels, since the country’s tactics highly affects the increase of migrants in the EU. In detail, the Greek Prime Minister told: “Till today, it was difficult to find a solution, because a series of countries adopt a stance ‘Not in my backyard’. Turkey should have been called to the talks. The discussion will be among the countries of the corridors, but everyone knows at the end of the corridor there is an entrance”; pointing clearly to his neighbours.

All in all, even if Merkel’s plan sounds too difficult to be implemented, the EU will and should invest more on that in order to show its good humanitarian face.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

Libya: UN Mission condemns deadly attack against police in country’s south-east

Measles ‘misinformation campaigns’ through social media, fuel rising toll

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

Statement by President von der Leyen on recent developments related to Iran and Iraq

Now’s the time to take up cycling – here are 6 reasons why

State aid: Commission approves €30 billion French subordinated loan scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

4 steps to developing responsible AI

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

These are the biggest risks facing our world in 2019

Robots aren’t stealing all our jobs, says the World Bank’s chief economist

European Semester Spring Package: Recommendations for a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic

German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

Who holds the key to the future of biotechnology? You do

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

These social entrepreneurs are lighting up Africa

Africa-Europe Alliance: Four new financial guarantees worth €216 million signed under the EU External Investment Plan

We are witnessing a revolution in genomics – and it’s only just begun

Africa is set to get its first vertical forest

UN and civil society team up to make cities more sustainable and inclusive

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

A new global platform to unleash entrepreneurs on the world’s toughest problems

Myanmar: New UN envoy offers to serve ‘as a bridge’, recognizes ‘positive steps’ over Rakhine state

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

Is your smart home as safe as you think?

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

International community renews commitment to multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from digitalisation of the economy

Sustainable investment continues to gain momentum

5 ways to bridge the global health worker shortage

3 ways AI will change the nature of cyber attacks

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

UN condemns deadly simultaneous terrorist attacks on military camps in Mali

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

‘Wanton destruction’ in Sudan’s Darfur region, ‘blatant violation’ of international law

Hiring is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Around 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities by 2050, projects new UN report

MWC19 Wrap Up, in association with The European Sting, GSMA’s Brussels Media Partner for the 6th Consecutive Year

‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

Public consultation: Commission seeks citizens’ views in preparation of new European Democracy Action Plan

Don’t dismiss start-ups founded by millennials. This is how they succeed

Parliament elects Ursula von der Leyen as first female Commission President

What if nature became a legal person?

Mental health: fighting the hidden pandemic

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

How smarter machines can make us smarter humans

2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the US from hurricanes

How trade wars pose a threat to the global economy

Malta: Human rights experts call for justice in case of murdered journalist

European Parliament approves more transparency and efficiency in its internal rules

Women in Switzerland have gone on strike – this is why

A Europe that protects: EU reports on progress in fighting disinformation ahead of European Council

Why ‘video call fatigue’ might be making you tired during lockdown – and how to beat it

Why the oil industry has less time to decarbonize than it might think

Practicing healthcare: Skills of a good healthcare professional and its effects

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s