EU to fund 3 billion euros to Turkey for refugee deal
The European Commission approved funds to be worth 3 billion euros for Turkey to help refugees, announced on Feb. 3, as 28 European Union (EU) countries signed off a proposal in Brussels.
05 Şubat 2016 Cuma 00:07
In exchange, Ankara is expected to reduce the refugee flow to EU countries, while more than a million people has reached Europe last year.
The commission has supported debates for a fund to Turkey in November but has faced the rejection of Italy, which also interrupted the process. Rome was objecting the funding of one in third of three billion euros from the national budget of EU countries.
"Turkey now hosts one of the world's largest refugee communities and has committed to significantly reducing the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU. The Facility for Refugees in Turkey will go straight to the refugees, providing them with education, health and food. The improvement of living conditions and the offering of a positive perspective will allow refugees to stay closer to their homes" said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement.
This critical agreement also relies on the accession talks between the EU and Turkey, particularly previous pledges of the EU for fast-track access to visas for Turkey, with respect to the readmission agreement signed in December 2013.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has called on for prompter moves towards visa-free travel.
"We will not sign a re-admission deal before we obtain progress on the question of Schengen visas (to the EU's passport-free area) and an easing of conditions for visas for Turkish citizens" Mr Davutoglu has said in a televised interview.
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