EU-TURKEY SUMMIT: MIGRATIONS-ISIS-MONEY
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 27 November 2015 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - The meeting of the EU heads of state or government and Turkey will take place on Sunday 29 November in Brussels. The meeting is supposed to provide an opportunity to strengthen EU-Turkey cooperation and contribute to managing the on-going migration crisis. Actually the meeting was planned with Turkish President Erdogan but in the end he decided to send Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who also will visit the NATO Headquarters on Monday, 30 November 2015. He will meet with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
EU sources told to Middle East Diplomatic that the EU-TURKEY summit will mainly be dominated by migrations from Turkey, isis terror and “some new billions of Euro” to be given to Turkey including visa liberation. European Council President Donald Tusk will chair the meeting. President Jean-Claude Juncker will represent the European Commission and European Parliament President Martin Schulz will also be present at this special meeting. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will represent Turkey. Participants are likely to focus their discussions on how to further develop EU-Turkey relations, and in particular on the implementation of the joint Action Plan on migration. Themeeting should provide an occasion to make further steps in the areas of visa-liberalisation and implementation of readmission agreements, re-energising the EU accession process as well as stepping up the financial and political engagement of EU-Turkey relations, based on shared responsibility, mutual commitments and delivery. At the end of the meeting leaders are expected to adopt a joint statement.
Background of the meeting
In a press release, EU Commission wrote that the European Council, it has repeatedly called for stepping up cooperation with Turkey. Already the special meeting of the European Council on 23 April decided to mobilise all efforts at its disposal to tackle the migration crisis in close cooperation with the countries of origin and transit. In recent months the European Commission has conducted an intensive dialogue with the Turkish authorities and both EU Presidents Tusk and Juncker have held a number of bilateral meetings with the Turkish President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu. The meeting on 29 November is taking place in light of these contacts and on the basis of a positive recommendation of the European Commission.
The meeting will aim to activate the joint Action Plan (agreed ad referenda) and to set out a number of shared commitments and actions in order to overcome the common challenges ahead. While the discussions are expected to be broad-ranging, including on enhancement of economic relations, energy and the Customs Union, the focus is likely be on the implementation and the expected results of the joint Action Plan. Leaders are expected to pay particular attention to:
Re-energising EU-Turkey relations
At the European Council on 15 October this year, the EU and its member states expressed their readiness to increase cooperation with Turkey and to step up their political and financial engagement substantially. They called for the accession process to be re-energised with a view to achieving progress in the negotiation in accordance with the negotiating framework and the relevant Council conclusions. Fur this purpose, the EU and Turkey are expected at this meeting to agree to hold regular summits, political dialogue meetings and discussions on cooperation on foreign and security policy, including on counter-terrorism, over and above the existing framework of cooperation.
Visa-liberalisation and implementation of readmission agreements.
The EU is expected to welcome the Turkish commitment to accelerate the fulfillment of the Visa Roadmap benchmarks towards all member states. The implementation of the joint Action Plan should also bring order into migratory flows and help stem irregular migration. Both sides are expected to ensure the application of the established bilateral readmission provisions and the return of economic migrants to their countries of origin.
Financial, humanitarian and socio-economic support
The EU is expected to significantly expand its overall financial support in order to deliver efficient and complementary support to Syrians under temporary protection and host communities in Turkey. Both sides are expected to underline the importance of burden-sharing within the framework of EU-Turkey relations as well as welcoming measures by Turkey to further improve the socio-economic situation of the Syrians under temporary protection.