Problems with the EU-Turkey deal deepening

by The Region   Reuters  


Next week, the EU Commission will present a critical report on Turkey's accession preparations, of which some details are already known. The ErdoÄŸan regime is far from doing well - with one exception: the good cooperation in refugee policy is expressly praised. But what is portrayed as a success by Brussels and some governments is, in fact, an expanding problem area.

It is true that the deal negotiated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU Commission has reduced the number of new arrivals in Greece. But behind the scenes, this cooperation keeps creating new conflicts. There is, as the "standard" on Friday reported, on the one hand, a flared up a dispute between the Member States, who should pay for the remaining three billion euros, which were promised to Turkey for their cooperation. Some EU governments want this money to be paid out of the EU budget, pointing out that Merkel had voluntarily pushed this deal.

But there are also numerous irregularities in the funds transferred so far. The EU states have agreed to donate most of the funds not to the Turkish government, but to individual projects needed for refugee support in Turkey. As the "Spiegel" researched together with the Network European Investigative Collaboration (EIC), however, not even half of the funded projects - including new hospitals and new school buildings - have been implemented so far. Although the refugee crisis continues to weigh on Turkey, individual projects have even been postponed to 2021. It is similar to the 660 million euros that were transferred directly to the Turkish Ministry of Education and Health and the State Migration Service. Here is missing for several million euros documentation on their use.


Humanitarian questionable

Even humanitarian, the deal works badly. Turkey prevents migrants from travelling on.But she does not always hold herself to international law when dealing with these people. And that, although she has committed to it. Political scientist Zeynep Kasli criticized this last at a lecture in Vienna. "Non-Syrian refugees are mostly housed in identification centres in Turkey, where they have no contact with the outside world and can not contact a lawyer." They would then be expelled to countries where they were not sure.

Moreover, Greece is not clear about incoming refugees who still make it to one of the islands. The agreed repatriation to Turkey is sluggish, as the Greek authorities are overwhelmed by the asylum procedures. The conditions in the camps were last referred to as shameful by the aid organization Doctors Without Borders.