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Eu Turkey Agreement Migration

The 2016 Migration Agreement was a package comprising a migrant resettlement programme in the EU; Visa exemption for Turkish citizens in the Schengen area; modernisation of the EU-Turkey customs union; speeding up Turkey`s EU accession negotiations; and an indefinite provision on EU-Turkey cooperation to improve humanitarian conditions in Syria. Due to the reluctance of EU member states, only 25,000 Syrians have been relocated from Turkey to the 27-member bloc in the four years since the agreement came into force. On Wednesday, the European Commission decided to make available the second tranche of 3 billion euros promised under the refugee agreement. In contrast, the Turkish government has said it has so far received 1.85 billion euros from the EU. Financial support from the EU Fund is provided to Turkey through projects. Aid is not delivered to state coffers. The 2016 agreement focused on the so-called “one-for-one” programme, in which Turkey would send a Syrian refugee to the bloc it has taken over from the Greek islands. As part of the agreement, Syrian refugees are exchanged between Turkey and EU countries. The agreement provides for the EU to send back to Turkey all Syrians who arrived illegally on the Greek islands after 20 March 2016.

In exchange, legal Syrian refugees are admitted to the EU. Now Turkey has to ask itself a question about the agreement, says Nas: “What future for Syrians?” The increasing difficulty of travelling to Europe from the Greek islands has led migrants and refugees to quickly seek alternative routes to reach the EU. With more than 57,000 unauthorised sea arrivals in 2018, Spain has become the number one route to the EU by sea. That`s more than twice as many arrivals as in 2017 with 21,000. The NGOs and the Spanish government itself held the increase responsible for the EU-Turkey agreement and subsequent agreements with Libya, which essentially stopped the Central Mediterranean route, through which boats had departed from Libya to Italy. As part of the 2016 agreement, the EU said it would provide Turkey with up to 6 billion euros in health, education, food and infrastructure assistance to deal with the refugee situation. In 1959, Turkey was one of the first countries to work closely with the young European Economic Community (ECE). This cooperation was concluded as part of an “association agreement” signed on 12 September 1963. An important element of the plan was the creation of a “customs union” so that Turkey could negotiate goods and agricultural products with EEC countries without restriction. The main objective of the Ankara agreement was to “continuously improve living conditions in Turkey and the European Economic Community through the acceleration of economic progress and the harmonious intensification of trade and to continuously improve the differences between the Turkish economy and… Community.”

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