The European Union should solve problems with Turkey on the issue of migration as soon as possible, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday while Ankara looks to renew a 2016 pact on migration.
"The coronavirus pandemic and migration will determine the world politics and economy in the future, and the EU should be prepared for this," Peter Szijjarto told reporters following an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.
Szijjarto said that migration waves must be stopped in order to ensure the security of Europe.
A March 2016 agreement between Turkey and the EU has been widely praised for stemming irregular migration, but Turkey says it is due for a comprehensive update and has criticized the bloc for failing to uphold its end of the deal.
Shortly after the deal was struck in May 2016, arrivals of irregular migrants in the European Union dropped sharply – but still remain high. Almost 860,000 irregular migrants made their way from Turkey to Greece by sea in 2015, compared to 60,000 in 2019. The numbers dropped to a record low of 9,714 people in 2020 – although this is likely related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Five years on, the pact is failing as Turkey struggles with the increased number of migrants and the EU is more divided than ever over its asylum policy.
Turkey is hosting 6 million migrants, with nearly 4 million from Syria, its migration authority says. That's 2 million more than in 2016, a heavy burden on a country that only had 60,000 asylum-seekers in 2011 before Syria's civil war broke out.
The pact nearly collapsed last year when thousands of migrants, mostly Afghans, Pakistanis and Iraqis, amassed at the Turkish border with Greece after Ankara opened its borders for those heading to Europe, fearing more refugees from Syria's Idlib.
Underlining that NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer could lead to new security problems in the region, Szijjarto said it could make Afghanistan an immigration source once again.
Szijjarto stressed that thousands of families have already fled Afghanistan to reach Europe.
"All problems with Turkey over migration must be resolved as soon as possible in order to prevent new migration pressure on Europe," he said.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.