• First payment of a €3 billion extension of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey 
  • Education for refugee children in Turkey would continue uninterrupted 

MEPs said yes to continuing to pay the salaries of over 5,000 teachers, who so far have provided education to over 300,000 refugee children in Turkey.

A draft amending budget was approved by Parliament on Wednesday to cover the first payment – €500 million, in addition to €50 million already earmarked in the Humanitarian Aid budget for this purpose – of a €3 billion extension of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRT), in order to ensure that refugee children’s education can continue without being interrupted.

Parliament however underlines that no negotiations have so far taken place with the Council on the financing of the €3 billion extension, and that the present release of €500 million from the EU budget “is without prejudice to its position on the remaining part of the financing of the second tranche of the FRT.” The MEPs also strongly deplore not having been involved in adopting the decisions on the setting-up and on the prolongation of the FRT, which is at odds with their role as budgetary authority in the financing of the FRT from the Union budget.

The draft report by Siegfried Muresan (EPP, RO) recommending the approval was adopted with 548 votes to 70 and 61 abstentions.

Background information

The FRT, established on 24 November 2015, coordinates EU assistance to refugees in Turkey. Funded by the EU budget and additional contributions from member states, it amounts to a total of €3 billion for 2016-2017. It was extended on 14 March 2018 and allocated an additional €3 billion for 2018–2019.