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28-04-2016

No blank cheque for Turkey, say MEPs in debate on EU-Turkey deal

The implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration, its legal aspects and democratic control were debated by MEPs, First Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans and Dutch Minister for Immigration Klaas Dijkhoff on Thursday morning. MEPs stressed that there must be no bargaining on visa liberalisation criteria.

Some groups underlined the necessity of the agreement and that it had been brought about by the inability of EU member states to take responsibility for the refugee crisis and act. Others were more critical, blaming the EU for trying to “outsource” its problems and voicing grave concerns about the situation of refugees, fundamental rights violations and lack of media freedom in Turkey.

Many also questioned the legal basis of the agreement and whether it complies with international law, in particular the Geneva Convention and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. Some threatened to bring the agreement before the European Court of Justice.

Review the debate on Storify

Video Replays of statements by

Dutch Immigration Minister Klaas DIJKHOFF (Council Presidency)

Commission Vice-President Frans TIMMERMANS

Manfred WEBER (EPP, DE)

Gianni PITTELLA (S&D, IT)

Peter VAN DALEN (ECR, NL)

Sophie IN 'T VELD (ALDE, NL)

Marina ALBIOL GUZMÁN (GUE/NGL, ES)

Ska KELLER (Green/EFA, DE)

Fabio Massimo CASTALDO (EFDD, IT)

Edouard FERRAND (ENF, FR)

Note to editors

The EU-Turkey deal was also the topic of a plenary debate on 13 April in Strasbourg and of a debate in the Civil Liberties Committee on 7 April. On 21 April, the Civil Liberties Committee debated visa liberalisation for Turkey, also in the context of the migration deal.

#Turkey #migration

EP LiveEbS+ (28.04.2016) Audiovisual material for professionalsEuropean Council conclusions 17-18 March 2016 EU-Turkey statement, 18 March 2016 (Council) EU-Turkey agreement: Questions and Answers (European Commission 19 March 2016)