Labour MEPs: EU-Turkey migration agreement is welcome, but Ankara must do more to allay concerns

Labour MEPs have called for more guarantees from Turkey to ensure basic conditions to claim asylum are met following the agreement between the European Union and Turkey – whereby all irregular migrants not in need of international protection that enter Greece will be returned to Turkey.

Claude Moraes MEP, chair of the European Parliament civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, said:

“Following the announcement that Turkey will receive an extra €3 billion from the EU, it is important that these funds are used to improve access to healthcare, education and other basic humanitarian needs for the 2.5 million Syrian refugees that are already in Turkey.

“Labour MEPs will continue to scrutinise the funds to ensure that they directly support the humanitarian assistance of Syrian refugees in Turkey.”

Labour MEPs have also welcomed efforts to increase action against people-smugglers following the summit.

Claude Moraes MEP added:

“Given the increasing number of unaccompanied children arriving in Europe and that 10,000 refugee children have gone missing, as stated by the EU’s intelligence agency Europol, it is essential measures are in place to target smugglers.

“However, the EU-Turkey action plan should not be seen as the main solution – national governments must also uphold their responsibilities in response to the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.

“Up until now, the majority of EU nations have continued to do the bare minimum whilst countries on the periphery such as Greece have faced a significant pressure. This can no longer be an option.

“Compassionate and organised action is desperately needed with the participation of all EU countries to ensure better managed migration with full respect of human dignity.”