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Parliamentary questions
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16 January 2020
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002685/2019

The Commission is fully aware of the increased numbers of arrivals in the Greek islands over the past weeks and notes with concern the additional pressure this puts on a system already under strain. Nevertheless, the Commisison notes that the arrivals registered over the summer represent a decrease of 90% compared to the months preceding the EU-Turkey Statement. At the same time, the number of apprehensions by Turkish authorities is considerably higher than in 2018 (over 269 000 up to September 2019, which has already surpassed last years’ 268 000 apprehensions inside Turkey). The Turkish Coast Guard remains actively engaged in rescue and interception operations in the Aegean Sea, with an average of more than 3 000 weekly interceptions in September 2019. The Commission provided support to strengthen the capacity of the Turkish Coast Guard with equipment and training, including on migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

The Commission will continue to monitor closely Turkey’s delivery on its commitment to implement the Statement, which continues to deliver results in managing migratory flows and in saving lives in the Aegean Sea, and is in regular contact with the Turkish authorities both at political and technical level.

Most recently, the Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life and the Commissioner for Home Affairs travelled to Ankara on 6 December 2019 to engage with the Turkish authorities and reaffirm both the EU and Turkey’s commitment to implementing the EU-Turkey statement.

Last updated: 16 January 2020Legal notice