Greece awaits the agreement on refugee flow between the European Union and Turkey at the summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
The draft plan that was presented by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk to EU leaders aims at “putting an end to illegal immigration from Turkey to the EU” and it is based on eight points, as follows:
- All young illegal migrants coming from Turkey to the Greek islands will be returned to Turkey. All migrants who come to the islands will be registered and those who did not apply for asylum or those whose asylum applications have been rejected are to be sent back to Turkey. Turkey and Greece, with the assistance of international organizations and EU institutions will take the necessary measures and to agree bilaterally on any necessary adjustment, including the presence of Turkish officials in the Greek islands, to ensure cooperation and the smooth operation of these settings. The costs will be covered by the EU. Migrants who are already on Greek islands will be transferred to reception centers in mainland Greece.
- For every Syrian to be returned from the Greek islands to Turkey, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey in the EU. Priority will be given to migrants who have not tried to illegally enter or have entered EU illegally in the past.
- Turkey will take all necessary measures to prevent the establishment of new sea and land migratory routes from Turkey to the EU and will work with neighboring countries and the EU for this purpose.
- When illegal entries between Turkey and the EU have stopped or at least significantly reduced, the Draft Voluntary Humanitarian Entry will go into effect and EU member states will contribute to the project on a voluntary basis.
- The visa abolition for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU will be expedited by the end of June 2016.
- The EU, in cooperation with Turkey, will accelerate the payment of the initial allocation of 3 billion euros for refugees in Turkey and ensure funding for persons under temporary protection in Turkey before the end of March. The maximum that can be given to Turkey by the EU for refugees is another 3 billion by the end of 2018.
- The EU, in cooperation with Turkey, will be prepared for the opening of new accession chapters in the negotiations for EU membership as soon as possible on the basis of the European Council conclusions of October 2015.
- The EU and its members will cooperate with Turkey in any joint effort to improve the humanitarian conditions in Syria which would allow the country’s population and refugees to live in areas that are more secure.