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EU Interior Ministers Council calls on Turkey to implement 2016 deal

The Council of the Interior Ministers of the European Union has expressed solidarity with Greece and called on Turkey to fully implement the provisions of the 2016 EU-Turkey deal on Migration. It also strongly rejects Turkey’s use of migratory pressure for political purposes.

The Council conveyed on Wednesday following a request by Greece.

The Council adopted a statement on the situation at the EU’s external borders.

“In this statement, the Council expresses its solidarity with Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and other member states which might be similarly affected, including in efforts to manage the EU’s external borders.

While the Council acknowledges the increased migratory burden and risks Turkey is facing on its territory and the substantial efforts it has made in hosting 3,7 million migrants and refugees, it strongly rejects Turkey’s use of migratory pressure for political purposes. This situation at EU’s external borders is not acceptable. The Council expects Turkey to implement fully the provisions of the 2016 joint statement with regard to all member states.

The EU and its member states remain determined to effectively protect EU’s external borders. In this regard, the EU and its member states will take all necessary measures, in accordance with EU and international law.

All member states, the Commission and EU agencies stand ready to strengthen their support to areas under pressure, including through the deployment of Frontex’s rapid border intervention and additional technical assistance.”

Greece”s Ministers of State Giorgos Gerapetritis, of Citizen Protection Michalis Chrisohoidis and Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos explained the tense situation at the Greek-Turkish border and asked for EU’s help.

“Greece has faced this impending threat with the utmost resilience and will continue to do so, not only ensuring its national sovereignty but also the integrity of the EU’s external borders,” Gerapetritis said.

On Friday, March 6, the Council of EU’s Foreign Affairs is meeting in Zagreb also following a request by Greece

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One comment

  1. And no mention that the EU has broken two out of three promises in the 2016 agreement. Nor the fact that the agreement has no meaning in law and therefore can be ignored by Turkey. We live in an age of political propaganda and lies; and without rule of law.

    The original architect of the EU-Turkey Statement — Gerald Knaus, of ESI, Berlin — shares my view that the 2016 deal was merely temporary and needs a new legal agreement with Turkey. He is also pushing for the rule of law in handling all irregular migration flows, including those from North Africa who are unlikely to be entitled to humanitarian protection, but return to their countries has to be done legally and with agreements signed with countries of origin.