Tag: Brussels

The European Union requiring Turkey to take migrants back from the Greek borders.

The European Union requiring Turkey to take migrants back from the Greek borders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought greater support from Europe for the war in Syria and for hosting millions of refugees, but he has been told that he must first stop encouraging migrants to cross into Greece.

Erdogan went to Brussels for talks with the European Union and NATO after tensions worsened over the fate of tens of thousands of migrants trying to enter the European Union member Greece since Ankara said last month that it would not try from now on to keep them on its soil.

Turkey hosts about 3.6 million refugees from Syria and halted the extension of immigration to Europe under an agreement it signed with the bloc in 2016, in exchange for aid in billions of euros.

However, it was disappointed by what she considered to be European support for the war in Syria, where a confrontation is taking place between its forces and the Syrian government forces, and where they are suffering increasing losses.
Erdogan said, “The crisis stemming from Syria, with its security and humanitarian aspects, threatens our region and indeed all of Europe … No European country has the luxury of continuing to deal with indifference.”

“We expect tangible support from all our allies in the battle that Turkey is waging alone … NATO is going through a critical stage during which it must show clear support,” he added.

The European Union has nothing to offer regarding military support in Syria, in which it denounced Turkey’s involvement. The 27-nation bloc, where most of the countries are allies of Ankara in the NATO alliance, has waved the option of providing more aid, but on time and with conditions.

“The events on the Greek-Turkish border clearly indicate political pressures on the external borders of the European Union,” European Commission President Ursula von der Line said before the talks with Erdogan.

“A solution to this situation will require reducing the pressure on the borders,” she told a news conference on Monday.
At the same time, the European Union is trying to support Greece, where it says 42,000 migrants are stranded on the islands, including some 5,500 unaccompanied children.

France, Portugal, Finland, Germany, and Luxembourg have offered to receive some of them, and Berlin has said it can receive up to 1,500 minors in total. European Union immigration ministers are due to discuss the issue in Brussels on Friday.

The European Union is keen to avoid a repetition of the migrant crisis that occurred in 2015 and 2016 and witnessed the entry of more than one million refugees, most of them from the Middle East and Asia, to the European Union countries through Turkey and Greece.
The bloc’s 2016 agreement with Turkey largely cut off this flow, an agreement the European Union hopes to save, even though Turkey now fears a new wave of refugees may reach it due to the escalation of fighting in Syria.

The European Union says it has so far paid about half of the pledge, which is six billion euros, to help Turkey provide housing, schools and medical centers for refugees on its soil. The bloc waved the prospect of further aid.

The 2016 agreement also provides for the European Union to receive thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and to give Turks the right to enter the bloc without visas and to make faster progress in Turkey’s accession talks to the union.
But relations between the two sides were strained after a coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. The European Union criticized the scope of Erdogan’s security campaign against the opposition after the failed coup and effectively froze Turkey’s bid to join its membership.

“We have clearly expressed to President Erdogan our commitment to make progress on these issues, provided the matter is mutual,” Von der Line said after about 40 minutes of talks.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told in a meeting with Erdogan that the coalition has already invested more than five billion dollars in Turkey, including on military bases and radar sites.

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No support from EU to Erdogan in Syria, the Turkish sultan left Brussels without a deal

No support from EU to Erdogan in Syria, the Turkish sultan left Brussels without a deal

EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday to respect the terms of a previous deal to keep migrants away from Europe’s borders, after the Turkish leader visited Brussels to request more support. There was no disguising the tension at the European Council after the talks, with Erdogan choosing to head straight for the airport rather than a joint press conference with EU leaders. Von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, told reporters that “Clearly we do have our disagreements, but we have spoken plainly and we have spoken openly to each other”.

Back to 2016 Ankara agreed to block migrants and refugees from heading to Greece in exchange for billions of euros in EU aid. This deal between the EU and Turkey remains valid, Von der Leyen and Michel both stressed. Michel also reaffirmed that the top EU diplomat, Josep Borrell, would be working with his Turkish counterpart foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the next few days “to be certain that we are on the same page that we have the same interpretation about what we do, in Turkey and at the level of the European Union, in order to implement the deal.”

Beforehand, Erdogan had made clear that his priority was to seek more support for his country in the conflict in Syria and to cope with millions of refugees from the fighting, but EU has very little to offer in terms of military support in Syria, where it has condemned Turkey’s engagement. The 27-nation bloc, in which most members are also Ankara’s NATO allies, has dangled the promise of further aid – but in time and under conditions. “The events at the Greek-Turkish border clearly point to politically motivated pressure on the EU’s external border,” the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said before talks with Erdogan.

“Finding a solution to this situation will require relieving the pressure that is put on the border.” Erdogan did not speak to reporters after the meeting, despite Turkish officials saying earlier that he planned to do so.

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EU strongly rejects Turkish migration pressure

EU strongly rejects Turkish migration pressure

The EU strongly rejects attempts at migration pressure from Turkey and expects Ankara to fully implement the 2016 agreement on closing borders for migrants. This is stated in a statement issued on Wednesday by the EU Council at the level of foreign ministers, an emergency meeting which ended in Brussels.

The Council decided to closely monitor the migration situation and return to its discussion at the planned meeting of the Ministers of the Interior on March 13 in Luxembourg.

“The EU Council recognizes the increased migration pressure and risks that Turkey faces, as well as its significant efforts to accommodate 3.7 million migrants and refugees. However, the Council categorically rejects attempts to use migration pressure to achieve political goals. This situation is on the external borders of the EU “The EU Council expects Turkey to fully comply with the provisions of the 2016 agreement regarding the countries of the community,” the document says.

The Council of the European Union noted that “Turkey and the EU should continue to receive mutual benefits from this agreement.” At the height of the migration crisis, in early 2016, Brussels and Ankara agreed that Turkey would close its borders with the EU for migrants, for which the EU would pay her € 6 billion and provide a visa-free regime. Brussels has already transferred more than € 5 billion to Ankara, but has refused a visa-free regime under the pretext of the need to review anti-terrorism laws in Turkey that violate human rights.

The Council of the European Union welcomed the assistance that member countries and the EU Frontier Control Agency Frontex have already provided to Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and other border states, as well as the allocation by the European Commission of € 350 million of emergency assistance to Greece to ensure the protection of its borders.

Earlier on Wednesday, EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrel also condemned Ankara’s use of migrants for political purposes and expressed hope that EU countries would not have to draw an army to protect borders from migrants.

On Tuesday, the European Commission warned against the dissemination of unverified and knowingly false information that tens of thousands of migrants had allegedly already entered the EU from Turkey. The representative of this body emphasized that at present, several thousand people are concentrated on the border between Turkey and Greece, who are still on Turkish territory.

According to her, the European Commission is studying the sources of stuffing false information, while Turkish journalists openly publish these data. She, however, refused to classify Ankara’s actions as “hybrid warfare methods” against Brussels.

In late February, after a clash with the Syrian army, which killed 36 Turkish troops, Turkey decided not to stop the refugees from Syria who are trying to get into the EU. Turkish authorities estimated the number of refugees crossing the border at 100 thousand. However, these data refute both the Russian military in Syria, which do not record such a massive movement of refugees towards the border, and the Greek leadership. Athens accused Ankara of organized transfer of migrants and reported the suppression of almost 25 thousand cases of border violations since early March.

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On Turkey with rift over amid, the European Union struggle to cope with migratory flows.

On Turkey with rift over amid, the European Union struggle to cope with migratory flows.

The European Union, eager to avoid the 2015 and 2016’s migratory flows chaos, is taking action after Turkey said it would no longer abide by a 2016 agreement that prevented refugees and migrants from going to Europe.

The European Union entered into an agreement with Turkey in March 2016 to pay more than six billion euros ($ 6.6 billion) in exchange for Ankara preventing refugees and migrants on its soil from traveling to Europe.

The agreement has since reduced significantly the number of arrivals to the European Union from Turkey. The union said it is determined to keep the agreement with Ankara, which means the possibility of providing more money to it. But it is difficult to promote this among the 27 member states of the Union, at a time when they differ over the next long-term budget, starting in 2021.

European Council President Charles Michel called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday to show solidarity with Ankara after a Russian-backed Syrian government forces air strike that killed more than 30 Turkish soldiers last week.

Relations between the European Union and Ankara have been strained since Erdogan staged a sweeping crackdown on dissidents in Turkey following a failed coup attempt on his rule in 2016.

Recently, the European Union imposed sanctions on Ankara for exploration off Cyprus.  There are common borders between Greece and Turkey. The two countries exchanged accusations and criticism over the escalating tension on the border, as refugees and migrants in delegations began in large numbers during the past few days.

Charl Michel has already indicated the union’s readiness to increase humanitarian support for the Idlib region in northwestern Syria, one of the last areas controlled by an Iranian-backed opposition fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces backed by Moscow.

The European Commission has called for an emergency meeting of immigration ministers in the countries of the European Union and said it is ready to involve the European Frontier Agency (Frontex) in helping to monitor external bloc borders with Turkey in Greece and Bulgaria.

In 2015 and 2016, huge numbers of new arrivals invaded Greece, which allowed many of them to move forward to other European Union countries. Other countries have responded by re-imposing identity checks on their borders within the European Union’s Freedom of Travel area to prevent undisciplined movement of people.

The Freedom to Travel area is a major achievement of European integration. The union wants to avoid any further collapse of the system and does not want to stoke bitter disputes between member states over who is responsible for the arrival of refugees and migrants.

In Brussels, Turkey’s decision to open the way for Europe to refugees and migrants in response to the bombing of Idlib is seen as an attempt to lure the European Union and ensure support for Turkey in the face of Russia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron may meet Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 5. Merkel, Macron and the head of NATO have already expressed their concern about the humanitarian situation in Idlib and urged an end to the conflict.

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Brussels Conference 2020: Experts and government officials caution against Erdogan’s expansionist strategies

Brussels Conference 2020: Experts and government officials caution against Erdogan’s expansionist strategies

On Tuesday, The European Parliament held a European conference facilitated in Brussels. The Conference entitled “Turkish intervention in the Mediterranean” and its objectives, causes, and threats. 

Many politicians, political experts, and deputies were representing different political trends from five European nations, such as the Dr. Costas Mavrides, MEP for Cyprus and Chairman of the Political Committee for the Mediterranean in the Parliament; H. E. Yasar Yakis, the former Turkish Foreign Minister; Professor Niyazi Kizilyurk, MEP from Cyprus; Jean Valere Baldacchino, President of The Geopolitical Research and Analysis Circle in Paris, and Dr. Magnus Norell, Adjunct Scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The meeting concentrated on two principle parts: Turkish intervention in the eastern Mediterranean, explicitly the issue of gas research off the shoreline of Cyprus, and the Turkish direct military mediation in Libya. Various members censured the marking of the Libyan administration of compromise led by Fayez al-Sarraj with the Turkish regime, saying that these understandings undermine stability in the Mediterranean. 

At the opening of the Conference, former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis made a comprehensive historical introduction. In which he highlighted the reasons that incited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consent to the arrangement with the Libyan government. 

The maritime borders in the Mediterranean and the length of oceanic borders that add up to 1700 km with Greece and the remainder of the Mediterranean nations is one of the few reasons.

Yakis reflected that Turkey has demanded to partition the sea borders and freedom to access its riches, and this is the objective through which Erdogan tries to get a legitimate right in regards to maritime edges. Along these lines, a unilateral deal was marked with Libya to demarcate the oceanic borders without counseling with the remainder of the Mediterranean nations. 

“It urges us to ask questions about the risks assailing Turkey through its concentration in Libya,” he said.

He included, “Erdogan’s approaches may transform Libya into another Syria.” He expressed this mainly as a result of its oil riches, particularly since Turkey right now not have any apparent policy to escape this emergency. 

He included that Erdogan additionally consented to a military collaboration deal with the legislature of Tripoli. However, the significant issue with this administration is that it’s dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and state armies connected to terror-based groups.

He additionally cautioned that the vague Erdogan’s Turkish foreign policy might place Ankara in grave peril because of this extension towards Libya. 

Niyazi Kizilyurk, MEP for Cyprus, placed the Turkish intervention in Libya in the class of the contest for energy sources and thought about that Erdogan was causing Turkey’s separation through its expansionist approaches. 

Kizilyurk stated that Cyprus has the freedom to invest its energy assets inside its sea borders, yet Turkey won’t acknowledge this right and power. 

He inquired as to why Erdogan wouldn’t consult with the nations of the region to arrive at an understanding that fulfills all parties and permits the dissemination of wealth of energy, which falls within the international laws. 

Costas Mavrides, MEP for Cyprus and chair of the Political Committee for the Mediterranean in European Parliament, stressed that the policy that Erdogan had been actualizing thoughtfully in the Islamic world for quite a while is placing him in face to face showdown with the remainder of the nations of the district. Consequently, this expansionist policy was the center of the issue through these hostile strategies that don’t acknowledge international laws. 

Mavrides thinks that this model is essential for Erdogan, as the Turkish parliament bolsters him and votes in favor of him with laws intended for securing people with Ottoman roots in the area as occurred with Muslims in Cyprus. 

He concluded that Erdogan’s policies undermined the security of the Mediterranean, stressing that there was no part to play for Turkey in Libya. Furthermore, the agreement that Erdogan marked with Libya doesn’t fit in with the laws of the United Nations or European laws since Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus, which is a part of the United Nations and a member of the EU. 

Magnus Norell, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, talked about the Turkish foreign policy of the Erdogan government. In which he noticed that the Turkish intervention in Libya encapsulates the post-zero policy issue, a situation that is brimming with questions, which he depicted as an expansionist approach that undermines security and balance. 

Norell expressed in the meeting that these expansionist choices are turning into pressure for Turkey and have built difficulties for Erdogan with nations in the region, for example, Egypt and Iran. 

He likewise emphasized the requirement for Europe to intercede to block arms exports to Libya, notably weapons from Turkey, since it disrupts security and dependability in the area and represents a risk to the Mediterranean nations. 

Jean Valere Baldacchino, President of The Geopolitical Research and Analysis Circle in Paris, likewise talked about Turkey’s expansionist strategy in Libya. Also, he concentrated on the degree of its peril to the war France is pursuing against terror based groups in Africa and Mali specifically. He stated that Turkey had aspirations for energy sources in the Mediterranean territory, expansionist offensive strategy, and justifying its interference in neighboring nations. Baldacchino also stressed and regretted that Europe didn’t manage the Erdogan government firmly and stringently. 

All the members in the Brusselsconference expressed their concern over the Turkish intrusion in the Mediterranean, which would have territorial and global consequences, and also on metaphorically transforming Libya into another Syria in a brief period.

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David Frost: democratic consent would snap if UK acceded to EU rules
Europe, Geopolitics

David Frost: democratic consent would snap if UK acceded to EU rules

Boris Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost set out his red lines in public discourse in front of formal discussions with Brussels on a trade deal due to commence one month from now.

He stated the democratic assent of the British public would “snap drastically and eventually” if the UK kept attached to EU rules.

In a notable opening to Brussels, Frost acknowledged that the mediators would need to expand on the models contained in other EU free trade agreements. However, he demanded that the capacity to break free from the EU’s rulebook was necessary to the idea behind Brexit and that the UK’s position would be tabled in “written letter” one week from now. “We are not searching for anything unique,” he included

He likewise said that the UK would not partake in any EU events or agencies that put the nation under the authority of the EU court.

The EU’s negotiating instructions are expected to be settled on 25 February. A draft record published this month demonstrated that Brussels would explore at least “non-regression” from current ecological, social, and laborers’ models once the UK has left the single market and customs association on 31 December 2020.

The bloc is expected to request a “dynamic alliance” by the UK on the EU’s state competition and funding rules. The UK would set up an independent body supervising the standards, yet it would operate in cooperation with the European Commission.

Johnson stated in an ongoing discourse in Greenwich that he would prefer to acknowledge overwhelming duties on merchandise being exchanged than join to anything so cumbersome.

Frost stated in Brussels: “Guidelines and administrative choices are so crucial to how the number of residents in a region feels bound into the authenticity of its legislature that this structure would be essentially unsustainable: eventually, vote based assent would snap – drastically and ultimately.”

Frost included: “It isn’t merely a simple negotiating position which may run under tension; it is the purpose of the entire project. That is likewise why we won’t extend the transition beyond the end of 2020. By then, we recuperate our political and financial autonomy in full. For what reason would we want to delay it?

“The reason why we expect open and reasonable challenge arrangements dependent on a free trade deal. The point of reference isn’t that we need a moderate result on competition rules. It is that the basis of an FTA and the examples of the text contained in genuine concurred FTAs are the most suitable ones for the relationship of sovereign people in profoundly delicate zones identifying with how their jurisdiction is administered and how their populaces offer to agree to that administration.

Article Credit: The Guardian

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