EU leaders met in Brussels in order to come up with a solution to handle the migrant crisis caused by the civil war in Syria. The proposal that European Union leaders came up with would send tens of thousands of migrants back to Turkey. The proposal was made to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Friday. As of this writing, there is no news from Turkey as to whether they agree with the EU proposal or not.
On Thursday, when the proposal was made, the EU leaders assured that this solution would not lead to mass deportations of migrants. EU leaders decided that Turkey would be paid to take in the thousands of migrants that would be deported from Europe. The leaders understood that they had to include some type of incentive to Turkey.
— Tim Kinser (@tdkinser) March 18, 2016
European countries have been stretched out to beyond capacity due to the arrival of over 1 million people searching for asylum as they flee war-torn Syria. EU leaders are hoping that Turkey can help ease the stress of the increasing population.
The proposal would pay Turkey to take in migrants who are arriving in Greece. The EU would still allow some migrants into Europe but the ones who do not qualify for entry will be sent to Turkey. Turkey has already increased its population due to 2.7 million refugees from Syria already living there. Under the EU proposal, Turkey would be paid a total of 6 billion euros.
At the Brussels summit, some leaders were fearful that Cyprus would veto the deal. Cyprus does not have a good relationship with Turkey due to the Turkish government recognizing the Greek-Cypriot government. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was asked about the potential of him vetoing the deal with Turkey. He said, “If needed, yes.”
Human rights experts have examined the proposal from the EU to Turkey. According to them, this deal is being touted as a “cynical cave-in.” The human rights people feel that European countries are sacrificing human rights because they no longer want to accept migrants seeking asylum. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite says, “It is on the edge of international law.” Grybauskaite is referring to the EU proposal. Other leaders feel as if Turkey is extorting Europe in order to get more money. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel commented on that aspect.
“Turkey is really asking for a lot. I refuse to accept negotiations that sometimes resemble a form of blackmail.”
Winter is ending in Europe and some believe that more migrants will attempt entry due to the weather being warmer. Warmer weather brings favorable conditions for traveling.
Greece is still suffering from problems with 46,000 migrants forced to stay there due to Macedonia closing its border. Migrants had been using a popular trail through Macedonia in order to get into the Balkan region of Europe. Up to 14,000 migrants have set up a tent city on the border of Macedonia and Greece. Soukeina Baghdadi is one of the residents of this tent city. Like many of the stranded migrants, Baghdadi wants to relocate to Germany. She comments on the hope that the borders will soon be open.
“All the people here are waiting for the summit, waiting for the borders to open.”
EU leaders have agreed a proposal on the migrant crisis to put to Turkey https://t.co/St4m0n6g22 pic.twitter.com/pjd2H2yJwv
— Texas_Stella (@Texas_Stella) March 18, 2016
Germany has taken in a huge number of migrants already. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that Turkey needed to do their part and meet the standards set by the international community.
Do you think Turkey will agree to the EU migrant proposal?
[Image Via AP Photo/Virginia Mayo]