The EU has agreed to open new chapters in Turkey’s long-stalled accession talks in return for cooperation on the refugee crisis. Bloc members are also considering billions in financial aid for Ankara.
The two sides are now in agreement on “the exact content of a joint action plan” to stem the flow of refugees arriving to Europe, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said after the refugee summit in Brussels early Friday.
The EU and Turkey also agreed to “speed up” the talks on easing visa restrictions for Turkish citizens, according to Juncker.
The plan mostly deals with providing more aid to help Turkey manage around 2 million refugees on its soil. Turkey is also the main starting point for the hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing the Mediterranean and entering Europe, with many EU officials pressuring the country to crack down on human smugglers.
Commenting on the request after the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Turkey had already spent 7 billion euros on refugees, and it would make sense for the EU to provide the equivalent.
However, financial details are …read more