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European Commission - Press release

EU-Turkey Cooperation: Commission welcomes Member State agreement on Refugee Facility for Turkey

Brussels, 3 February 2016

EU-Turkey Cooperation: Commission welcomes Member State agreement on Refugee Facility for Turkey

The European Commission today welcomed the agreement by Member States on the details of the €3 billion Refugee Facility for Turkey, which the Commission proposed on 24 November in the context of our cooperation with Turkey on tackling the refugee crisis. The Commission has agreed to increase its contribution to €1 billion, compared to the €500 million originally proposed in November. The EU will now be able to swiftly deliver substantial new financial resources to support Turkey in coping with the presence of Syrian refugees under temporary protection and host communities in Turkey.

European Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans said: "I welcome the agreement by the Member States on the details of the Refugee Facility for Turkey. This is what we agreed at the meeting of EU heads of state or government with Turkey on 29 November. The money we are putting on the table will directly benefit Syrian refugees in Turkey, helping to improve their access to education and healthcare in particular. I also welcome the measures already taken by the Turkish authorities to give Syrian refugees access to the labour market and to reduce the flows. The step taken today will help ensure better prospects for Syrians in Turkey and advance on the implementation of our Joint Action Plan. We must work together to achieve results, in particular when it comes to stemming the influx of irregular migrants."

Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation, Johannes Hahn, added: "Turkey now hosts one of the world's largest refugee communities and has committed to significantly reducing the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU. The Facility for Refugees in Turkey will go straight to the refugees, providing them with education, health and food. The improvement of living-conditions and the offering of a positive perspective will allow refugees to stay closer to their homes."

The Refugee Facility for Turkey is the answer to the European Council's call for significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey. The Facility will provide a joint coordination mechanism for actions financed by the EU budget and national contributions made by the Member States, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

To ensure coordination, complementarity and efficiency in the financing, the Steering Committee of the Facility will provide strategic guidance and decide on which types of actions will be supported and through which financing instruments. The Steering Committee will monitor and assess the implementation of the Facility. It will be composed of representatives of Member States, the Commission and of Turkey, in an advisory capacity.

The assistance provided under the Turkey Refugee Facility will be conditional on the compliance by Turkey with the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan, which aims to bring order into migratory flows and help to stem irregular migration, and the EU-Turkey Statement from 29 November 2015.

Background

Its geographical position makes Turkey a major first reception and transit country for migrants. The country is hosting more than 2,5 million asylum seekers and refugees.

Turkey is making commendable efforts to provide massive humanitarian aid and support to an unprecedented and continuously increasing influx of people seeking refuge and has already spent more than €7 billion of its own resources on addressing this crisis.

On 15 October, the European Commission reached an ad referenda agreement with Turkey on a Joint Action Plan to step up their cooperation on migration management in a coordinated effort to tackle the refugee crisis.

At the European Council of 15 October, Heads of State or Government of the EU's 28 Member States endorsed the agreement and welcomed the joint Action Plan.

The Action Plan identifies a series of collaborative actions to be implemented as a matter of urgency by the European Union and the Turkey with the aim of confronting common challenges in a concerted manner and supplementing Turkey’s efforts in managing the large number of people in need of protection in Turkey. In addition, the European Union – the institutions and its Member States – also committed to increasing political engagement with Turkey, providing Turkey with significant financial support, accelerating the fulfilment of the visa liberalisation roadmap and re-energising the accession process with Turkey.

For more information

EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan

European Council conclusions of 15 October 2015

Cooperation with Turkey: Presentation for the informal meeting of Heads of State and Government: Cooperation with Turkey of 12 November 2015

Factsheet: Funding to main migration-related activities in the Western Balkans and Turkey

All press materials on the EU Migration Agenda

IP/16/225

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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