Laura Batalla, Secretary General of the European Parliament Forum on Turkey, stresses that a consensus among EU Member States will be essential. “The EU should continue to provide financial assistance to Syrian refugees(…) There is still a need to continue to invest in cost-of-living assistance for Syrian refugees, thereby strengthening social cohesion. There seems to be enough goodwill. Turkey and the EU are in favour of the prosecution. As the European Union (EU) meets with the Turkish government to review its failed 2016 agreement, it faces a new test: strengthening its borders and blocking refugees and other migrants, or acknowledging that the human and political cost is too high. There were a number of legal conflicts when refugees fought against the idea that Turkey was a safe country in which they should be sent. Greek courts have often ruled in favour of the complainants because Turkey is unable to offer effective protection and because it has repeatedly deported people to conflict zones such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The 2016 coup attempt and subsequent forced state of emergency have put migrants and asylum seekers at increased risk of refoulement. Despite all this, the AGREEMENT between the EU and Turkey is maintained. Thousands of people are still trapped on the Greek islands, in a state of legal suspension. The Joint Advisory Committee (JCC) was established on 16 November 1995 in accordance with Article 25 of the Ankara Agreement. The Community`s objective is to promote dialogue and cooperation between the economic and social actors of the European Community and Turkey and to facilitate the institutionalisation of the partners of this dialogue in Turkey. The joint consultative commune has a mixed, cooperative and two-wing structure: the wings of the EU and Turkey. It has a total of 36 members, consisting of 18 Turkish representatives and 18 EU representatives, and two elected co-chairs, one Turkish and the other from the EU.
While EU and Turkish representatives will review the 2016 agreement in the coming weeks, both sides are expected to explore ways to modernise the customs union and promote the integration of refugees in Turkey. They should also assess the prospect of providing much more humanitarian assistance and assistance to the civilian population of Idlib. The concern about the spread of coronavirus among these vulnerable populations, which may soon be on the move, is all the more reason to take action to address their desperate conditions. Progress in these areas is more realistic than efforts to end complex discussions on visa liberalization or accession, which depend on Turkey`s compliance with a long list of criteria ranging from anti-terrorism legislation to Cypriot issues.