Migrants: EU, Turkey responds to the humanitarian crisis

March 23, 2016
Share on
The European Council, which comprises the heads of state or government of the EU, met with its Turkish counterpart on Friday 18 March 2016 in Brussels, and took important measures to limit the humanitarian effects of the migrant crisis. Essentially, the sides agreed to implement decisions reached earlier, particularly on 7 March this year, which aim at creating a distinction between asylum seekers, in particular Syrians, and illegal migrants, and also at organising humanely acceptable reception facilities on Turkish territory and at preventing refugees from running mortal risks.
In response to the support provided by the EU, Turkey has formally “agreed to accept the rapid return of all migrants not in need of international protection crossing from Turkey into Greece and to take back all irregular migrants intercepted in Turkish waters”. The European Council added: “Turkey and the EU also agreed to continue stepping up measures against migrant smugglers and welcomed the establishment of the NATO activity on the Aegean Sea. At the same time Turkey and the EU recognise that further, swift and determined efforts are needed.”
The objective is “to break the business model of the smugglers and to offer migrants an alternative to putting their lives at risk”.

Countries covered:

  • Syria *