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Brussels calls for more effective implementation of the 2016 EU-Turkey Declaration on migration

More effective and mutually beneficial implementation of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement for immigration management, asks the Commission in the evaluation report on EU relations with Turkey, released today.

“On the immigration issue, we propose a more effective implementation of the 2016 declaration,” said Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varcheli, noting that Turkey should step up its efforts to prevent irregular departures to the EU. During an interview Press conference granted together with the High Representative of the EU, Ol. Varheli admitted that migrant arrivals on the Eastern Mediterranean route are up, but added that the EU-Turkey Declaration is being implemented and cooperation with Turkey on migrant management “is under control”. He stated, however, that the EU expects an “enhanced cooperation” with Turkey on its eastern borders and mainly in return operations, just as it is done with the countries of the Western Balkans. “Returns are key to showing those who settle illegally in the EU that they cannot illegally gain access to the EU and that traffickers do not decide who enters the EU.” said Ol. Barkheli.

In particular, the Commission asks Turkey to intensify its efforts for limiting irregular migration flows to the EU, by preventing departures and dismantling criminal smuggling networks and strengthening its border protection. The Commission observes a positive trend since October of increased interception of migrant smugglers and a decrease in irregular departures from Turkey.

It is also pointed out that the politician and technician EU-Turkey dialogue on migration and security is ongoing. At the recent meeting in Brussels on 23 November between Commissioner Ylva Johansson and Turkish Interior Minister Ali Gerlikaya in the context of the EU-Turkey High Level Dialogue, the commitment to strengthen cooperation between the immigration and law enforcement services of the two countries was confirmed sides.

In this context, the Commission calls for readmissions from the Greek islands to be resumed, the migration situation in Cyprus to be addressed and irregular departures on routes to the EU to be prevented. It also calls for continued cooperation with the Turkish authorities and airlines to improve the efficiency of passenger control and border controls at Istanbul airport, as reported by APE-MPE.

Conversely, from the EU side, the Commission proposes to speed up resettlement from Turkey to EU Member States, based on the progress made so far. This should particularly cover the most vulnerable groups of Syrian refugees in Turkey. In addition, it is proposed to continue EU support to refugees and host communities in Turkey, based on the mid-term review of the EU’s multiannual financial framework proposed by the Commission in June. Finally, it is requested to continue the safe returns of irregular migrants to the countries of origin, in close cooperation with the International Organization for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: News Beast

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