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Comment on the situation at the Turkish-Greek border: "Renew the refugee agreement with Turkey now"

02.03.2020

Prof. Dr. Matthias Lücke, migration expert at Kiel Institute and coordinator of the Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM), comments on the emergency at the Turkish-Greek border:

“For several years, Turkey has hosted up to 4 million refugees—with little help from the EU and international community. The EU should now offer to renew the EU–Turkey statement on refugee protection and increase financial support for the reception and integration of refugees in Turkey on a long-term basis. More financial support for refugee protection in Turkey will lead to fairer responsibility sharing and is long overdue. It is also the most promising approach when it comes to preventing another spontaneous movement of refugees to Central Europe as in 2015.

While the EU sets out to develop sustainable policies for refugee protection and immigration, it should not allow itself to be distracted by short-term maneuvers like the opening by Turkey of certain border crossings for irregular migrants. Greece has now closed its side of the border and the EU should comprehensively support Greece as it ensures the integrity of the EU’s external border. Negotiations are starting among all stakeholders and there is ample room for arrangements that leave the EU, Turkey, and refugees in the Middle East all better off than lawlessness and border closures.”

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