European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said the accomplishments and achievements of the Turkey-EU refugee deal signed in March 2016 is an excellent example of Turkish-EU cooperation. "The Turkey-EU refugee deal is an excellent example of what we can do when we are together," Stylianides told a group of Turkish journalist in Brussels on Dec. 7.
Providing information about the latest figures, Stylianides said that through the agreement the EU has taken in 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, and more than 255,000 refugee students are receiving education as part of this program. "I believe Turkey and the EU together can be proud of this achievement," Stylianides said.
As part of the ongoing agreement, the EU has already allocated a 2.9 billion euro fund for Syrian refugees in Turkey via over 50 different projects. The EU also pledged to provide another 3 billion euros for Syrian refugees when the current fund is fully used. Regarding allocation of the additional 3 billion euros, Stylianides said the EU is committed to implementing this agreement. "EU member states already agreed to mobilize another 3 billion euros shortly after currently available resources have been contracted. Definitely we will fulfill our commitments to see all projects concluded. … We can be proud of this achievement. Of course we have some obstacles to implement this project, but through collaboration with Turkish authorities we can overcome all these obstacles," he said.
Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) joined the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism in 2015 in a move to bolster cooperation with the Brussels-based organization. Commenting on this issue and ongoing cooperation between Turkey and EU in the field of crisis management, Stylianides said that Turkey's participation in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has already made significant difference. "Personally, I'm very proud to welcome Turkey into our family during my mandate. Turkey is already an active member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We need each other not only in the refugee crisis, we need each other also in this demanding, challenging field of civil protection," Stylianides said.
Turkey is the 34th country to join the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and as a member, Turkey will be able to contribute to its future operations and will receive aid and assistance from the organization in the event of a disaster in Turkey.
Membership also allows Turkey to access the Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS) in addition to receiving updates from the organization's early warning systems.