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Monday, November 30, 2015

Additional 3 billion euro for Turkey

Local development, Humanitarian, Justice - Security, Co-op & Development, Enlargement,Administrations States,

News The 28 EU member states and Turkey agreed yesterday on a deal to tackle the flow of refugees to Europe on the unfreezing of accession negotiations and on the mobilization of a 3 billion euro package for Turkey.

Confronted by an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers, EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a sixth meeting on migration, this time in the unprecedented format of an EU-Turkey summit.

Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999, and has been negotiating for accession since 2005.

But unlike previous summits, which went past midnight, this meeting ended at 8 PM, in order to give leaders time to leave the Belgian capital. The terrorist threat level was lowered to 3 on Thursday, but Belgian security services advised EU leaders not to spend the night in Brussels.

As the host of the meeting, Council President Donald Tusk said that approximately 1.5 million people have illegally entered the EU in 2015, and most have come through Turkey.

Turkey was represented by Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was recently reappointed as Prime Minister. Davutoğlu will make a speech in the Turkish Parliament tomorrow, seeking a vote of confidence in his new government.

Between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and, Prime Minister Davutoğlu, EU diplomats prefer the latter, as he is perceived as more predictable and less confrontational.

One of the few unknowns at the summit was if Turkey would accept the offer of €3 billion, or ask for more. The EU’s initial proposal was for €3 billion over two years, whereas Ankara is reported to have has sought €3.5 billion per year.

The statement which seals the deal reads: “The EU is committed to provide an initial 3 billion euro of additional resources. The need for and nature of this funding will be reviewed in the light of the developing situation.”

It is unclear where this money would come from. The initial proposal is that the Commission provides €0.5 billion, and the member states the remaining €2.5, according to the usual distribution key based on national GNI.

But sources told EurActiv that many member states were asking the Commission to provide the bulk of the amount. Some, however, expressed concerns that this money would be taken from cohesion funds, or other programs of which they are beneficiaries.

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Source :  Euractiv




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