Friday, February 17, 2017

EU-Turkey deal is not working

The EU has given Turkey several billions of euro’s in order to get a grip on the situation with immigrants who are coming from the Turkish mainland to the Greek isles. The newest report from Amnesty International on the situation of refugees in Turkey shows again: this deal is not functioning.

Officially, the EU-Turkey deal has just the status of a ‘statement’. It is published on the website of the European Commission under the name ‘EU-Turkey Statement’. Therefore, it is hardly possible to place it under democratic control by, for example, the European Parliament (EP). The EP could have voted on the deal if it were officially and technically an ‘agreement’. Now the deal is not even legally binding, however its effects are rather far-reaching for the refugees, for the EU-budget and for the dependency of EU-countries on Turkey.

The EU and Turkey have agreed on sending immigrants back to Turkey as soon as they have reached Greece. Syrian refugees were eligible for asylum in European countries. But from March 2016 till January 2017, only 865 out of 27.000 immigrants have returned to Turkey. European countries have welcomed 2935 Syrian refugees from Turkey. So the EU is spending a lot of money in order to move just a relatively small group of refugees back and forth between Greece and Turkey.

Meanwhile, the living conditions of migrants and refugees in Turkey are very bad, even though the EU countries have spent 6 billion euro for better living conditions of refugees in Turkey. It would have been way more effective if EU-countries gave this money to international non-governmental organisations and to the United Nations instead of donating them to Erdogan’s regime, because UN-body’s and NGO’s could be held accountable for the spending of the money. Erdogan’s regime cannot be corrected or controlled anymore. Not from Turkish opposition and not from foreign parties. Therefore, the deal has to end and the negotiations on EU-membership should end immediately!