EU countries in row on who will pay for refugee deal
- DAILY SABAH, ISTANBUL
- Jan 27, 2018
The EU is in trouble over the refugee deal that was signed with Turkey in 2016 over a lack of a final decision as to how the second part of the payment, worth 3 billion euros, will be paid by the 27-member bloc, in addition to the previously allocated 3 billion euros.
According to the Financial Times, the deal with Turkey is "engulfed in a row over who will foot the bill," since countries like Germany and the Netherlands are pressuring the European Commission to pay the remaining 3 billion euros.
The article published on Thursday also stated that the dispute over the next phase of the deal highlights "how the EU's desire to cut migration is threatened by internal disagreements and pressure on national and union institutional budgets."
The article further claims that a group of influential EU states has argued the second phase of the deal should be managed by "dumping the whole financing into the commission's lap."
"Member country supporters of the plan argue that the money can be found by pooling commission under spending in other areas, an argument that foreshadows likely disputes in the bigger debate over the EU's next multiyear budget scheduled to start in 2021," the article stressed.
On the other hand, critics of the plan that would make the commission take all responsibility for the deal, as the article suggests, argue that it could "deprive other fields of money and could mean member states might lose precious oversight of how the Turkey funds are spent."
In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by implementing stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of Turkey's 3 million Syrian refugees.
The deal included a 6 billion euro aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees hosted in the country, and the EU promised to initially allocate 3 billion euros in its first tranche for projects to support Syrian refugees.
However, only 800 million euros have been transferred so far. Ankara says it has spent more than 20 billion euros of its own national resources to help and provide shelter to refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.