EU readies for eventual annulment of the Turkish agreement on immigrants-refugees

The Idomeni refugee camp at the border between northern Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. More than 10,000 migrants are stranded there for many months now, after the 'Balkan Corridor' was definitively closed. Date: 15/03/2016, Location: Idomeni,Greece, © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Sakis Mitrolidis.

The Idomeni refugee camp at the border between northern Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. More than 10,000 migrants are stranded there for many months now, after the ‘Balkan Corridor’ was definitively closed. Date: 15/03/2016, Location: Idomeni,Greece, © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Sakis Mitrolidis.

The highly possible collapse of the EU-Turkey agreement about the management of the refugee and immigrant flows in the Aegean Sea, has rang alarms in Brussels. Alexander Winterstein, the Deputy Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission denied the existence of a plan B, in case the Turks repudiate the pact which the just dismissed Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu concluded with the EU authorities in mid March. Winterstein added that “We have an agreement with the Turkish government and we have their word on that. We have regular contacts with them”.

However, only some hours later, Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for the European External Action Service, confirmed last Monday that the high level EU-Turkey meeting, with the participation of the Turkish ministers for Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, which was set for Friday, was cancelled. No later day was fixed for this important gathering. What is left then for the Europeans to count on, is just the ‘word’ of the briefly dismissed last Friday Davutoglu. No wonder why the rumors persist about the drafting of an EU plan B to regulate the refugee and immigrant flows from the Turkish shores to the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea.

Who is worried?

Unquestionably it is a fact that in Brussels and some other European capitals, a number of decision makers are quite anxious. The possibility of the resumption of last summer events with thousands of refugees and immigrants sailing every day from Turkey to the Greek islands constitutes a terrible nightmare for the Greek, the German and some other EU governments.

This newspaper reported last week what the Turkish President Erdogan, called ‘the Sultan’ by friends and foes, had said about the agreement with the EU. The European Sting article mentioned: “On top of briefly denouncing the entire agreement…he raised the stakes and said to the EU, in the old Turkish way, that “from now on we are going our way, you go yours””. To be reminded, Erdogan has repudiated a key Brussels prerequisite for the application of the agreement. The EU demands that Turkey should change, and actually greatly restrict the currently totally vague legal definition of ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorist supporter’.

Magistrates like government

The Turkish government and the magistrates regularly use this quite unclear legal definition of ‘terrorist’, against the political opponents of the President and the governing AK party. But how did this complexity come up? The Turkish side had managed to include as a basic condition for the application of the agreement, the visa-free travelling to Europe for Turkish citizens. But it would have been impossible for the European Parliament to pass it, while journalists and university professors in Turkey are accused as terrorists or traitors serving long imprisonment sentences for this.

Evidently, the EU-Turkey agreement is now caught in the impossibility of the two sides fulfilling those two key conditions. In view of this, Brussels sources say that the EU has a contingency plan in case Turkey finally repudiates the agreement. The same sources point out that according to the terms of the March agreement, the EU has earmarked €6 billion, which are meant to be handed over to Turkey for the cost of maintaining on her soil around 2.5 million Syrian refugees.

It’s about €6bn

If Turkey denounces the agreement, this money can be used to generously support Greece, to take care of some hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. The idea is that if Turkey backs off from the agreement, the flows of the refugees and immigrants to the Greek islands will be greatly reduced in comparison to last year, because the ‘Balkan corridor’ leading to north Europe is now tightly closed. No immigrants and probably very few Syrian refugees will knowingly choose to get stuck in a camp somewhere in Greece.

The Athens government has already agreed to offer shelter to at least 50,000 refugees and immigrants, against a round sum of €400 million. This presents an indication, of what the cost may be for accommodating a few hundred thousand of desperate people in Greece, and obviously is much lower than what the Turks have asked.

This is obviously a strong argument for the EU, while still negotiating with the Turks, about the application or not of the agreement Davutoglu has concluded with Brussels.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

MWC 2016 LIVE: Telenor CEO calls on operators to embrace Mobile Connect initiative

For the future of Europe youth remains a priority

Global Talent – Professional Internships

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Alexis Tsipras ready to test Eurozone’s political sturdiness; Up to what point?

What the G7 wants to do in eastern Ukraine

Can ECB’s €60 billion a month save Eurozone?

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

Teamgum @ TheNextWeb 2014

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

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

World Retail Congress announces Dubai 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

Prevent future crises and empower youth – now!

Can We(esterners) ever understand (the) Chinese

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Britain and Germany change attitude towards the European Union

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

“If they think they can slave an entire nation, then they will just have the opposite results!”, Alexis Tsipras cries out from the Greek parliament

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

When will Eurozone’s unemployment rate stop being Europe’s worst nightmare?

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Lithuania needs to get rid of the victim mentality

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

EU growth in 2015 to be again sluggish; Can the Juncker Commission fight this out?

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

To my Chinese friend

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

The EU lets the bankers go on rigging the benchmarks

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

China’s 13th Five Year Plan and the opportunities for Europe

A Sting Exclusive: “Change is challenge, change is opportunity”, Commissioner Bienkowska cries out live from European Business Summit 2015

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

ECB with an iron hand disciplines the smaller Eurozone member states; latest victim: Greece

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: Another sleepless night for the negotiators before Indaba meeting

The developing countries keep the world going

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

A Sting Exclusive: why the environment is important to your health, by UNEP’s Head for Europe

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s