With the ongoing flow of refugee migrants moving from Syria through Turkey and into European Union countries, the EU has asked Turkey to help stem the overwhelming flow of refugee migrants. With financial incentives and a possible acceleration of its EU membership, Turkey has agreed to help with the ongoing refugee crisis. The European Union is hoping to reduce the number of refugee migrants making their way through the Aegean Sea to Greek shores.
The EU nations have agreed to approximately $3.2 million in financial aid to Turkey in order for the country to support the estimated 2.2 million Syrian refugee migrants currently within its borders. Turkey is requesting not only a new bid into the EU, but also a lift on visa requirements for Turkish citizens traveling within the EU.
Turkey must work to quickly deport refugee migrants that are not under international protections or in need of such protections to their home countries and help shut down their borders to keep refugee migrants from traveling through Turkey to the EU. The nations of the European Union have agreed to hold two summits with Turkey as part of the agreement to deal with the refugee crisis.
“We expect a major step towards changing the rules of the game when it comes to stemming the migration flow that is coming to the EU via Turkey,” EU President Donald Tusk stated according to Bloomberg Business. “Our agreement sets out a clear plan for the timely re-establishment of order at our shared frontier.”
The European Union met with Turkish officials in Brussels on Sunday to discuss the current refugee crisis. Estimates put the number of refugees that have entered the EU illegally through Turkey at around 1.5 million. This is the largest influx of refugee migrants to European countries since World War II. While the flow of refugees is concerning, after the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris, government officials across the union are more concerned than ever before. While the terrorist attack in Paris was not brought on by a refugee, there are fears of future attacks being executed by refugee imposters. ISIS, the group that has claimed responsibility for the November 13 attacks, has said they have many members that have infiltrated the refugee camps. Whether or not ISIS has any members posing as a refugee has yet to be confirmed.
The Turkish bid to join the European Union could be reopened as early as December 14. Initial talks will focus on economic and monetary issues. This is the closest Turkey has been to a EU bid in 10 years. Of course, Turkey will have to agree to follow EU civil rights standards among other union requirements on top of keeping their word to stem the flow of refugee migrants.
While Turkey looks to prosper from the deal being offered, French president Francois Hollande has said that there is no reason to accelerate or slow the adding of Turkey to the EU.
“As Turkey shows its commitments for refugees the money will be distributed.”
Facing a hold on financial aid until they have shown a commitment to the many refugee camps within the Turkish borders will hopefully help keep the Turkish government accountable.
The refugee reform measures are not completely set in stone. An anonymous EU official told the New York Times that “serious issues” remain and that any refugee reform agreements may not be met in the immediate future. Even with that word of warning, these talks and preliminary agreements could get the refugee crisis under control in a way that is beneficial to both Turkey and the many EU nations currently affected.
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