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 Milestones

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

Can India reduce deaths on one hazardous road to zero? This group is trying

COVID-19 tracing apps: MEPs stress the need to preserve citizens’ privacy

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

South Korea once recycled 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95%

The unique role of business in building social good

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

Yemen: ‘Living hell’ for all children, says UNICEF; Angelia Jolie calls for ‘lasting ceasefire’

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

How to build long-term resilience in vulnerable communities

EU-UK relations: solutions found to help implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

This woman changed the world of work – and you’ve probably never heard of her

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

COVID-19: EU helps to deliver vaccines to Moldova and medical items to Montenegro and North Macedonia

Boosting the EU’s Green Recovery: EU invests over €2 billion in 140 key transport projects to jump-start the economy

4 ways to improve the lives of older people

Antitrust: Commission imposes binding obligations on Gazprom to enable free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets

EU4Health: 9.4 billion EUR budget needed for new EU health programme

A Sting Exclusive: “One year on from the VW scandal and EU consumers are still in the dark”, BEUC’s Head highlights from Brussels

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

The French army is enlisting sci-fi writers to predict the future

What meat consumption has brought to the environment and how herbal diets can help human health

Here’s the secret to financing a greener future

Anti-vaccination: a private choice leading to collective outcomes

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

This is how we can save millions of people from extreme poverty after COVID-19

Yemen: Security Council backs new mission in support of key port city truce

Scientists have created the world’s ‘first psychopath AI’

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Take medical use of cannabis seriously, say MEPs

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

West Darfur tensions could see 30,000 flee across Sudanese border to Chad: UN refugee agency

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

Budgetary Control Committee asks for stronger measures to protect EU spending

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

Euro-Mediterranean Assembly fixes its permanent seat in Rome

EU to lead one more fight against climate change at G7 summit

New EU visa rules – Questions and Answers

4 ways leaders are driving innovation in the public sector and revolutionising governance

Electronic Cigarettes: A booster or alternative to Smoking?

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

Eurogroup: IMF proposes Germany disposes

Where do Americans stand on immigration? They’re not as divided as you might think

“Scalpel, please”. For how long hearing this from a woman will be a surprise?

These are the skills young people will need for the green jobs of the future

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over INWIT by Telecom Italia and Vodafone, subject to conditions

Why infrastructure is the only way to fight a COVID-19 recession in the US

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for more efforts to ensure adoption of security proposals

Nigeria floods: Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ by loss of life and rising need

EU young translators’ contest kicks off!

How trade wars pose a threat to the global economy

Why precision medicine won’t transform healthcare – but governance could

Fairer, simpler, more flexible EU farm policy: MEPs vote on post-2020 reform

#WorldBicycleDay: 5 benefits of cycling

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

More Stings?

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

%d bloggers like this: