No blank cheque for Turkey, say MEPs in debate on EU-Turkey deal
The implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration, its legal aspects and democratic control were debated by MEPs, First Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans and Dutch Minister for Immigration Klaas Dijkhoff on Thursday morning. MEPs stressed that there must be no bargaining on visa liberalisation criteria.
Some groups underlined the necessity of the agreement and that it had been brought about by the inability of EU member states to take responsibility for the refugee crisis and act. Others were more critical, blaming the EU for trying to “outsource” its problems and voicing grave concerns about the situation of refugees, fundamental rights violations and lack of media freedom in Turkey.
Many also questioned the legal basis of the agreement and whether it complies with international law, in particular the Geneva Convention and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. Some threatened to bring the agreement before the European Court of Justice.
Review the debate on Storify
Video Replays of statements by
Dutch Immigration Minister Klaas DIJKHOFF (Council Presidency)
Commission Vice-President Frans TIMMERMANS
Manfred WEBER (EPP, DE)
Gianni PITTELLA (S&D, IT)
Fabio Massimo CASTALDO (EFDD, IT)
Edouard FERRAND (ENF, FR)
Note to editors
The EU-Turkey deal was also the topic of a plenary debate on 13 April in Strasbourg and of a debate in the Civil Liberties Committee on 7 April. On 21 April, the Civil Liberties Committee debated visa liberalisation for Turkey, also in the context of the migration deal.