Global Independent Analytics

EU’s Tusk Says Migrant Deal With Turkey Isn’t Perfect

European Council chief’s comment followed criticism of agreement from humanitarian organizations

Valentina Pop for The Wall Street Journal reports: The European Union’s deal with Turkey to better control the flow of migrants to Europe still poses legal and ethical concerns, said a top EU official who helped broker last month’s agreement.

His statement came following the criticism that surrounded the March 18 agreement, specifically plans to put asylum seekers in detention centers on Greek islands before sending them back to Turkey.

“The deal with Turkey isn't perfect and we’re fully aware of its risks and weaknesses,” said European Council chief Donald Tusk in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

“We did everything we could to ensure the agreement respects human dignity, but I’m conscious everything depends on how it will be implemented,” Mr. Tusk said.

The matter is further complicated by lacking a convenient and appropriate solution in how to hold back the irregular migration and stem the refugee influx, which only last year increased European population by more than a million people.

Pop continues: “Europe would have headed towards “political catastrophe,” with right-wing radicalism triumphing and border-free travel within the bloc being abolished, if it had failed to secure its external borders and control who is crossing its frontiers, Mr. Tusk said.”

Senior EU official also warned of alternative smuggling routes forming to avoid the recently closed Turkey-Greece-Balkan route.

“The numbers of would-be migrants in Libya are alarming. We must be prepared to show solidarity to Malta and Italy,” Mr. Tusk assumed.

The EU had moved on closing the Balkan route “much too late,” after countries further north had been forced to close their borders within an otherwise open-border area. More border closures could happen again, if the migrant influx shifts to Italy and Malta, Mr. Tusk added.

“The bloc couldn’t strike the same kind of migration deal with Libya as it did with Turkey. Under the Turkey deal, the bloc committed to pay €6 billion over the next three years aimed at improving the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey.,” assumes Pop.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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