By Juš Koren
Many European Union(EU) member states have approved the action migrant plan for Turkey that will ease the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe.
This year, approximately 600,000 migrants and refugees arrived some EU countries by sea, most of them going through Turkey and into the territories of Greece, from where they move onwards into Europe.
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, said that, cautious optimism “was felt over the deal with Turkey, which was made after many demands made by Turkey to stem the flow of refugees and migrants.”
An Afghan man was reported to have been shot on the border of Bulgaria on Thursday, trying to enter Bulgaria from Turkey. AFP reported that the man was a part of a large group of migrants trying to enter Bulgaria, which was also reported by Bulgarian Ministry of Interior.
The EU officials agreed, during the Brussels summit, to introduce Visa liberalization for Turks who wish to enter the Union’s border-less Schengen area, and new negotiations for Turkey’s EU acceptance, and new rounds of negotiations.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel stated that Germany and EU are also considering the 3 billion euros aid package to Turkey, as the country claims it requires these for both its migrant crisis and other inner problems of its own. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, also said the sum will be discussed further in the next few days. Chancellor Merkel will also be visiting Turkey this weekend, saying that there is still a lot to do.
There are some countries within EU that have strong reservations about the “refugee” agreement, especially if it is made too quickly and without much thoughts and consultations. The biggest concerns were raised by France, Greece and Cyprus.
Many Europeans believe, regardless of the side anyone is, that a deal with Turkey became necessary in bringing the refugee crisis under control. It remains unclear as to how Turkey will cope with its own unique refugee challenges, but the EU is expected to seek political solutions with Turkey in the upcoming weeks.
Juš Koren is a political reporter based in Ljubljana, Slovania.