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Monitoring mechanisms needed for EU-Turkey agreement on refugees

This afternoon, the European Parliament discussed the outcomes of the EU-Turkey Summit where 3 billion euros were promised to Turkey in exchange for stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.

Vice President of the European Parliament, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, told the plenary: “We must have monitoring mechanisms for the EU-Turkey framework agreement. We must make sure that democracy, human rights and the rule of law are respected. If we want results, then we must also put an end to the criminal gangs that smuggle human beings from Turkey to Greece, create a European land border and create fair and legal pathways for refugees coming from Turkey into European countries.”

Vice Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, also commented: “The European Commission must closely monitor the management of the billions that are being given to Turkey. There are refugees in primitive camps and thousands of people who live in terrible conditions. Today, only a few days after the agreement with Turkey, it was reported that 1,300 refugees were arrested in Turkey. And where is Turkey planning to send them? Back to Syria!! The European Commission must react immediately!” 

Hadjigeorgiou also called for a solution to the Cyprus problem: “While the agreement makes no reference to the ailing democracy in Turkey, it makes a reference to the opening of chapters [in accession talks between the EU and Turkey]. Cyprus is ready to assist in this direction if Turkey shows that it is ready to support a solution in Cyprus that will create real conditions for Cypriot independence. And this can be achieved if the solution guarantees that the future of Cyprus lies in the hands of Cypriots alone, creating a future based on EU principles and the security provided by being a member state of the European Union. The Cypriot federal state has no need for foreign guarantees to safeguard a solution. I stress this because as we are close to a solution – after many decades – and we should not miss this opportunity because Turkey believes that it should maintain a guarantor role in the functioning of a member state.”

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