This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal, which was signed on the 18th of March 2016 (and entered into force on the 20th). As concerns with the deal continue to grow, the Greens/EFA group is reiterating its calls for the deal to be scrapped, and for EU Member States to fulfil their own responsibilities in ensuring access to protection, family reunification and realistic opportunities for regular migration to Europe.
Commenting ahead of the one-year anniversary, Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller said:
"One year on from its signing, the EU must now call time on its disastrous migration pact with Turkey. Its human and political costs are unacceptable. The Member States must stop ignoring the fact that the deal has resulted in a terrible situation for refugees. Thousands are stuck on the Greek islands under unbearable conditions, without any hope that their asylum claims will be processed any time soon.
"We cannot continue with this deal in good conscience. For as long as it continues, the Member States give the Turkish President Erdogan leverage against the EU and make it much more difficult to take effective action against the worsening human rights abuses under his rule. It is a terrible abdication of responsibility for the EU to rely on someone who we know is working to undermine fundamental rights in his own country to guarantee the safety of those fleeing terrible humanitarian conditions. The EU must also make clear that there can be no progress on other demands from Erdogan, such as enhancement of the Customs Union, as long as he fails to uphold the rights of his citizens."
Green EU-Turkey relations spokesperson Bodil Valero added:
"Rather than continuing to rely on Turkey and President Erdogan, the EU must own up to its own responsibilities and show that it can be an effective guarantor of human rights. Instead of trying to keep refugees out of the EU, Member States must finally take seriously their own commitments on the resettlement of refugees. We must ensure that those seeking asylum in the EU are given access to protection and family reunification, and deliver safe and reliable paths to the EU."