Parliamentary questions
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17 May 2018
Question for oral answer O-000051/2018
to the Commission
Rule 128
Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group
Renate Sommer, on behalf of the PPE Group
Bodil Valero, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Marietje Schaake

 Subject: IPA funding for Turkey for migration management

Under the 2011/2012 Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) programme for Turkey, the EU has financed armoured surveillance Cobra II vehicles, to a cost of approximately EUR 35.6 million. This financial assistance aims to support the Turkish government’s efforts to improve border management and security, in accordance with EU policy. However, Human Rights Watch and Der Spiegel recently reported that the Cobra II vehicles have been used in forced pushbacks of refugees back into Syrian territory. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 42 people have died trying to cross the border between Syria and Turkey since last September.

In addition, Turkey has built a concrete wall along the Turkish-Syrian border and no longer allows asylum seekers from Syria to cross the border (except in case of medical need). The EU-funded Cobra II vehicles are now patrolling adjacent to the walls.

1. Is the Commission aware that it could be seen as having assisted Turkey in committing serious violations of human rights and international law, if it is proven that EU-funded Cobra II vehicles are being used to (violently) stop people in need of international protection from seeking asylum in Turkey?

2. Could the Commission indicate the exact terms under which the Cobra II vehicles were provided, and whether this is compatible with the legal basis of the IPA funds and Article 41(2) of the TEU? If it is compatible, can the Commission confirm that these vehicles are only being used under the circumstances agreed and intended in 2011/2012?

3. What monitoring system has been established to evaluate use of the Cobra II vehicles, and, furthermore, what sanctions are foreseen if the EU-funded project does not comply with the agreement?

Last updated: 22 May 2018Legal notice