Analysis 12 Mar 16

EU Refugee Deal With Turkey Comes At Price

Ankara may have got the EU out of a tight situation with refugees - but the end result looks like growing dependence on Turkey’s unpredictable regime.

Victor Kotsev
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu in Brussels | Photo: Anadolu Agency

The tentative EU-Turkey agreement to curb migration announced on Monday - hailed by EU officials - has angered human rights advocates while analysts warn that a desperate West is growing evermore dependent on Turkey.

Under the proposal submitted by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu in Brussels, Turkey will take back most refugees who from now on reach the Greek islands, including all Iraqis and Afghanis as well as half of all Syrians. The other half will be resettled in the EU.

In exchange, the Turkish government demanded 6 billion euros in aid, double the previous amount discussed in November 2015, as well as visa liberalization for Turkish citizens traveling to Europe from June 1. Turkey has also been promised accelerated EU membership talks.

“The days of irregular migration to the European Union are over,” an upbeat Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, said after the summit.

But with over 14,000 refugees stuck at the border between Greece and Macedonia and up to 100,000 projected to reach Greece in the next few weeks - in addition to over a million who entered Europe last year - analysts say Europe is becoming desperate.

“This is a European capitulation to Turkey,” said Vesselin Avraamov, an analyst in neighbouring Bulgaria, which straddles the EU’s southern border with Turkey as well as lying on a key route that refugees take to enter Europe.

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus