European Union and Turkey Deal

Back on Tuesday, the European Union and Turkey struck a deal to shut the entrance of migrants fleeing from war into the EU. The deal that will be concreted over the next ten days can alter the crisis because it would mean closing up the biggest channel of immigration from the Middle East. However, Europe is willing to pay a large sum of money for it to happen.

For each Syrian sent back to Turkey from the Greek islands the EU would have to accept one directly from the Turkish refugee camps. However, it is not such a fair deal because, on the one hand, the EU is effectively discouraging migrants from crossing the Aegean by raising the standards to qualify for their relocation programs (only Syrians can), and , on the second hand, even Syrians who arrive to the shores and are sent to Turkey could be blacklisted.

Even before the deal was signed some countries had already announced that they were closing their borders or at least controlling more closely who enters through them. Serbia will only allow in those with valid documentation to travel in Europe because we, Europeans, “need to protect ourselves”.

The UN and activist groups are calling this deal “illegal” and a blow to refugees’ rights.

The Refugee Tragedy

  Four years after the start of the Syrian civil war, more than 200,000 people have died in the cross fire, and it is estimated that there are at least 7.6 million displaced people. Countries like Lebanon, Iraq or Turkey have been taking in refugees from the war inside their borders. The EU, faced with the rapidly expanding tragedy, though slow to react, is gradually increasing the trains to bring refugees into countries like Germany or Austria. However some states are still reticent about giving asylum to refugees arguing that jihadists might go through their borders claiming to be refugees. Some others have completely closed their borders to them, endangering the EU borderless Schengen agreement.