Subject: Measures to force Turkey to implement the EU-Turkey agreement to stop the influx of illegal migrants into Aegean islands

30 March 2016
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Notis Marias (ECR)

At the EU-Turkey Summit of 18 March 2016, the European Union and Turkey agreed that all new illegal migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands as from 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey. At the same time, Turkey committed to take all necessary measures to prevent new sea or land routes for illegal migration opening from Turkey to the European Union.

However, starting from 20 March 2016 the number of migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands has been growing, which shows that the competent Turkish authorities are not doing much to stop the influx from the Turkish coast and that the mechanism that NATO was supposed to put into place to detect and return migrants is not working.

In view of this:

What measures does the Commission propose to take to force Turkey:

to respect the deal made at the EU-Turkey Summit of 18 March 2016 to stop the influx of illegal migrants into Greece?
to put into place the relevant mechanisms to control refugee and migrant flow, therefore, putting an end to illegal crossings into the Aegean islands?

Source: European Parliament

28 July 2016
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
On 15 June 2016 the Commission adopted its second report(1) on the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement(2).

As the report shows, the Statement is delivering concrete results although the state of play is fragile. In the month before its implementation, around 1 740 migrants were crossing the Aegean Sea to the Greek islands every day. By contrast, since 1 May 2016 the average daily number of arrivals is down to 47. This sharp decrease, the fact that more than 460 migrants have been returned to Turkey (including 31 Syrians who returned voluntarily), and that more than 500 Syrians have been resettled from Turkey, are showing the effects of the Statement.

The successful implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement is an absolute priority for the Commission and the Commission continues to provide support and expertise to the Greek and Turkish authorities.

(1) COM(2016)0349 final.



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