The EU and Turkey agree about measures to manage the migratory flows

The EU and Turkey agree about measures to manage the migratory flows

Government Communications Department 8.3.2016 1.47
Press release 98/2016

The meeting of the EU Heads of State or Government with Turkey in Brussels on 7 March discussed measures to manage the migratory flows.

- The discussions on migratory flows between the EU and Turkey made some headway, which will alleviate both parties' burden in the refugee crisis. Greece will be given reinforced support to help in the management of the humanitarian crisis and the control of its external borders. With a view to achieving the comprehensive migration strategy, the European Council will come back to it in March, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä noted.

Turkey confirmed its commitment to accept the return of all irregular migrants coming to Greece who are not in need of international protection.  The EU Member States, for their part, promised to accept one Syrian refugee for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greece. Additional funding for assisting the refugees will be granted to Turkey.

Moreover, the premiers agreed on further measures to deepen EU-Turkey relations.

Additionally, the premiers agreed on the following measures:

  • On account of the difficult humanitarian situation, the European Commission will provide emergency support to migrants in cooperation with Greece, other Member States and organisations.
  • Greece will be provided further assistance in managing the external borders, including those with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania.
  • Greece will also be granted additional assistance for ensuring the proper functioning of hotspots with 100% identification, registration and security checks.
  • Refugees' relocation from Greece to other EU Member States will be accelerated. Member States are invited to provide more places.
  • The EU Member States will implement their current relocation commitments (refugee quota reception) and work to establish a voluntary humanitarian admission programme with Turkey.
  • Close cooperation will be continued with the non-EU countries of the Western Balkans providing them any necessary assistance.
  • Furthermore, any necessary measures will be taken immediately in respect of the opening of any new routes, and the fight against smugglers will be stepped up.
  • The EU Member States will take forward the Commission roadmap on getting "back to Schengen" to re-establish the normal functioning of the Schengen area before the end of the year.

Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 315, Jari Haapiainen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 406

English translation of the press release published on 9 March 2016