The EU-Turkey Deal Is Bad but Worse Is Yet to Come

Afghan migrants in Greece. The majority of migrants who enter Europe pay to be smuggled by sea to Greece from Turkey, the main transit route into the EU. Nearly all of those entering Greece on a boat from Turkey are from the war zones of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

 

For many high-ranking politicians, it is already clear that the deal with Turkey has failed. What’s next?

On March 18, the European Union struck a deal with Turkey that was designed to decrease the influx of refugees into Europe. The deal said that anyone who arrives in Greece illegally would be sent to Turkey. And for every migrant sent back, the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee stuck in Turkish camps—with priority given to those who had not tried to enter the EU illegally.

As part of the agreement, Europe also promised Ankara $3 billion in aid, a boost to its EU membership proposal, and an easing of the visa restrictions for Turkish citizens by the end of June.

Many analysts saw this deal as problematic and even illegal, because Turkey does not meet the “safe third country” requirements of the Geneva Convention. Many viewed the deal not as a short-term solution.

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EU-Turkey deal gets reality check

The EU-Turkey deal, aiming to stop the flow of migrants into Europe via the Aegean Sea, came into effect on Sunday (20 March) but several outstanding legal issues and logistical challenges raise questions about how it would work in reality.

The deal under which the EU intends to return everyone, including Syrians, who arrives in Greece via smugglers, and resettle Syrian refugees directly from Turkey on a one-for-one basis, has not deterred migrants so far.

According to Greek authorities, 1,662 people had arrived on Greek islands by Monday morning, twice the official count from the day before, Reuters reported.

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