Draft proposal to EU-TR agreement on refugees

Below is the text prepared during a summit in Brussels:

Turkey and the EU reaffirm their commitment to carry further their existing ties and solidarity and adopt results oriented action to prepare their common future. It is a firm commitment of Turkey and the European Union to end irregular migration to the EU. In view of the importance of overcoming the common challenges ahead and the progress so far in the implementation of the “EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan and its Annex” adopted by the EU-Turkey Summit of 29 November 2015 in Brussels and in further to provision therein;

Turkey will:

1) Readmit expeditiously all irregular migrants crossing into the Greek islands from Turkey without prejudice to Turkey’s current commitments under international law. This readmission process will be for a temporary period and only for humanitarian purposes.

2) For that purpose, station, in agreement with the Government of Greece, adequate number of immigration and liaison officers in the established “Irregular Migration Monitoring Units” mainly in Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos to help facilitate processing of readmission cases.

3) Effectively implement all appropriate administrative and legal instruments to serve above stated purposes, including in the bilateral arrangements that will be put in place in agreement with the Government of Greece.

4) Effectively cooperate with the EU as well as the UNHCR to ensure expedited resettlement in spirit of burden sharing of Syrians to the EU member states, based on the formula of “for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU member states.”

5) Effectively implement projects, submitted by Turkey and decided upon by the Refugee Facility Steering Committee; and cooperate with the EU member states in any joint endeavour to establish humanitarian safe areas inside Syria.

EU will:

6) Evacuate completely refugees from the Greek islands and readmit only those, who crossed into the islands after a date to be determined.

7) Cover the cost incurred [in the Readmission process.]

8) Referring to Point 5 of the EU-Turkey Statement of 29 November 2015, instead of October, Adopt and implement a relevant EU Council Regulation to realize the lifting of visa requirements for the Turkish citizens in the Schengen zone, by latest end of June 2016, based on an accelerated roadmap, dedicated support and in conjunction with the Readmission Agreement.

9) Effectively and expeditiously resettle Syrians from Turkey based on the formula referred to in Article 4 to balance on a monthly basis, and cooperate with Turkey in any joint endeavour to establish humanitarian safe areas inside Syria.

10) Prepare for the decision on the opening of new chapters.*

11) Expedite and facilitate the transfer and disbursement of the Refugee Facility for Syrians and decide upon an additional facility of Euro 3 billion until the end of 2018.

12) Review progress jointly with Turkey on monthly basis, including on mutually agreed appropriate locations.

*Reuters note: This refers to steps in the process of negotiating Turkish accession to the European Union.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alastair Macdonald, Reuters)

About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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