Turkey refugee deal one year on

A year after coming into force the refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey is once more in the media spotlight. Journalists discuss what the deal has achieved and describe Europe's asylum policy as inhumane.

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Spiegel Online (DE) / 18 March 2017

End inhumane deal

The EU should withdraw from the refugee deal with Turkey as it is ineffective and inhumane, writes Spiegel Online:

“What is stopping people from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq from going to Northern Europe is less the deal than the prospect of being held up somewhere on their way. Greece has turned its islands into open-air prisons for refugees. Almost all the states on the Balkan route have sealed off their borders with fences. Hungary is detaining refugees for undetermined periods. Europe's closed doors policy has not alleviated the refugee crisis - on the contrary, the suffering of those seeking protection has increased - but it is scaring people away. The EU should put an end to this undignified spectacle with Turkey and withdraw from the deal. Erdoğan would then have one less argument in his campaign against democracy. And it should create a humane asylum system; a system that offers refugees legal paths to Europe.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) / 20 March 2017

Distribution problem remains unresolved

The EU would gain little by ending the refugee deal with Turkey given that it compensates for things the EU has failed to do, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes:

“Above all, the deal has helped to resolve the political problem posed by the EU member states still not having agreed on an effective distribution of the refugees. According to the current rules, the migrants must remain in the main countries of arrival, Greece and Italy, which are already unable to cope. This is unacceptable and inhumane. But nothing points to the EU being able to agree on a better arrangement in the foreseeable future. As long as the Turkey agreement keeps working, the misery is less apparent.”

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