EU-Turkey deal up for a debate 

The agreement to return migrants and asylum seekers from the Greek islands to Turkey, reached at the meeting of heads of state or government on 18 March in Brussels, will be at the centre of a debate with Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday morning.

Under the new agreement, all people arriving irregularly from Turkey to the Greek islands are to be returned, and the EU is to take in one Syrian refugee for each Syrian sent back. Once irregular crossings from Turkey have been substantially reduced, a Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme will be activated. The deal also opens up prospects for faster visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU, provided Ankara complies with the requirements.

Turkey’s 2015 reform efforts under scrutiny

Following the first debate, Parliament will also discuss the 2015 reform efforts of Turkey towards EU membership with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Wednesday and vote on a resolution on Thursday.

The draft says that EU-Turkey cooperation on migration should be uncoupled from the EU accession negotiating process and flags areas that are lagging behind in the reform process, such as the rule of law, freedom of expression and fundamental values.

Procedure: European Council and Commission statements; non-binding resolution on progress report

Debate: Wednesday, 13 April - 09.00-12.00

Vote: Thursday, 14 April

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