EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

The EU heads of state or government met with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (in the middle) in the European Council of 29 November. After the meeting Donald Tusk, President of the European Council (first from left), Davutoglu and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission held a Press conference. (Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium. Shoot date: 29/11/2015. Copyright credit 'The European Union').

The EU heads of state or government met with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (in the middle) in the European Council of 29 November. After the meeting Donald Tusk, President of the European Council (first from left), Davutoglu and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission held a Press conference. (Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium. Shoot date: 29/11/2015. Copyright credit ‘The European Union’).

A genuine Turkish bazaar took place last Sunday in Brussels during the meeting of the EU heads of state or government with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The horse-trading was about what it will cost the EU to stem of the flow of immigrants who pass through Turkey on their way to Europe. Finally the price was set at €3 billion, for a round number of two million Syrian refugees to be accommodated or rather held, sheltered and fed in Turkey. However, nobody seemed happy with the outcome of the negotiations.

Davutoglu observed that the €3bn will go to the Syrian refugees not to Turkey and preferred to put the emphasis of the agreement to “a historic re-energizing of the Turkish EU accession talks “. Francois Hollande the French President had a completely different story to tell about the agreement with Turkey. While prematurely leaving the meeting, in relation to the Turkish EU accession talks he said “nothing has changed, there is no reason to accelerate or delay it”.

Hollande focuses on refugees

Hollande also emphasized the obligations of Ankara to close its borders with Syria and contribute to a viable political solution in this country. This was a direct hint that Turkey should stop rejecting the role the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can play in a post civil war arragnment. Undoubtedly, the French President was adamant that the subject of the EU-Turkey meeting was the refugee problem and its repercussions. Obviously France, especially after the downing of the Russian war airplane by the Turks, doesn’t want to be seen as discussing an upgrade of the EU-Turkish relations. Lately, Moscow is quite choleric about whatever is related to Turkey and Europe knows it has to respect that.

Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, speaking at the Press conference after the meeting, was not as clear as Hollande vis-à-vis Turkey. When summarizing the results of the negotiations, Tusk said “with today’s decision both sides committed to step up the tempo of the accession talks with the view to make progress but the benchmarks and the standards will remain the same”. Understandably, Tusk had to be more placating than Hollande with Turkey, because there were other EU member states, like Britain pressing hard for an acceleration of the Turkish EU accession talks.
Others think differently

It’s interesting though to further analyze what Tusk exactly said and when he said it. His final words at the very end of the Press conference were “…but the benchmarks and the standards will remain the same”. In this way, he reminded Davutoglu that all the Brussels reserves in relation to the Turkish EU accession talks are always there. No need to remind the reader, that Brussels is quite irritated with the downing of the Russian plane and the latest arrests of two prominent Turkish journalists. The Europeans clearly detest the overall undemocratic or even autocratic way the country is ruled by President Recep Tayip Erdogan.

Despite being a constitutionally non partisan head of state, Erdogan regularly oversteps his lawful role and actually rules the country as a party leader, which he is not any more. His war against the Kurds and his strategy to silence all vocal opposition, using the country’s police and judiciary structures quite arbitrarily, makes him an awkward interlocutor to Europe. That’s why the EU leaders, probably at the exception of the British premier David Cameron, do not want to be seen as yielding to his demands.

A difficult equation

Given all that Tusk had a very difficult task in conciliating the diverging European positions vis-à-vis Turkey. He knew that Brussels needs Turkey to stop the immigrant flows before crossing the borders of Europe. That’s why he emphasized that “Our agreement sets out a clear plan for the timely re-establishment of order at our shared frontier”. In short, Tusk asked Turkey to stop directing the refugee flows to the Greek borders in the Aegean islands and added that Europe is ready to pay €3bn for that.

It remains to be seen if Turkey will deliver her part of the deal and arrest the flow of refugees and immigrants coming through its Syrian borders, keep those who finally reach her soil there, and prevent them from travelling to Europe. The €3bn is meant to cover the cost of offering shelter to Syrian refugees and turn the other immigrants back. For most of the EU countries this is the meaning of EU-Turkey agreement signed last Sunday. Tusk had an obligation, mainly towards France, to also confirm that and to this effect he noted that the meeting was about creating in Turkey “a new Syrian Refugee Facility of €3 billion” and “stem the migration flow that is coming to the EU via Turkey”.

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

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

The great sustainable reset: The new world of work after the pandemic

EU Parliament raises burning issues over the FTA with the US

rescEU: EU establishes initial firefighting fleet for next forest fire season

EU and New Zealand launch trade negotiations

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

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

We can save our ocean in three steps – if we act now

15 years of risk: from economic collapse to planetary devastation

This innovative project fuses journalism and music to highlight lawlessness at sea

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

The Junior Enterprise concept: Business & Education

Eurozone cannot endure any longer youth marginalisation

Thinking like Leonardo da Vinci will help children tackle climate change

This digital currency could build a more sustainable global economy

Impressive African health gains at risk from changing trends: WHO report

European Commission secures EU access to Remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19

Chart of the Day: This is how the $88 trillion global economy is spread around the world

The United Nations, 75 years young: Engaging youth social entrepreneurs to accelerate the SDGs

How COVID-19 has affected our sleep

Plans to keep EU budget funding in 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Stigmatized, shunned and shamed, International Widows’ Day draws attention to their unique needs

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: migration tragedy in the Rio Grande, drugs report, Torture Victims Day

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

Food safety critical to development and ending poverty: FAO deputy chief

Make this the year of ‘transformative solutions’ to avert disastrous climate change: UN Deputy Chief

Independent creators and engaged communities are the future of journalism

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

Vaccines: contract between European Commission and AstraZeneca now published

It’s time for a rethink on financial inclusion – new principles show how

EU and World Health Organisation team up to boost access to health services in developing countries

International trade statistics: trends in third quarter 2019

EU budget 2021: An annual budget focused on European recovery

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

How the Fourth Industrial Revolution can help us beat COVID-19

The Stray

3 leaders on creating a pipeline for female talent in business

Thinking throughout HIV: changing a perspective

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

More accessible products and services for disabled and elderly people

European Commission welcomes the endorsement of the new €79.5 billion NDICI-Global Europe instrument to support EU’s external action

These countries are the most peaceful – in 3 charts

European car industry: The Germans want it all

Inflation keeps falling in Eurozone

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: The health of capitalism won’t be the only worry for those who head for Davos

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

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

GradList Launched At TheNextWeb 2014

How to fight back against misinformation and polarization

Second Facebook-Cambridge Analytica hearing: impact on privacy, voting and trust

Women in leadership: closing the gender gap in medicine

5 ways to unlock a zero-carbon future for heavy industry

UN nuclear watchdog will help verify DPRK nuclear programme, if agreement forthcoming

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

We finally have a life-saving vaccine for Ebola

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: