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EU-Turkey Summit: fighting the smugglers together with Turkey, but we don't accept violation of fundamental rights


08 Mar 2016


Europe's East
Justice & Home Affairs

"We are fighting the smugglers, we are stopping illegal migration together with the Turks: this is the main message from the EU-Turkey Summit yesterday", said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. "At the same time, we are offering means for legal migration. For the first time, we have a common agreement between EU Member States and concrete positive results which offer us multiple possible solutions. But the devil still lies in the detail."

According to Manfred Weber, Turkey still hasn't fulfilled all its commitments regarding tackling the smuggler networks and preventing illegal movements. "Despite the fact that Turkey is an important partner, this doesn't mean that we are giving a blank cheque to the Turkish Government, especially when we see its behaviour towards the media. The violation of the freedom of press in Turkey is simply unacceptable."

In all the other issues such as visa liberalisation and opening new chapters for the Turkish accession talks, we are open to progress but we have to take the European Parliament's opinion into consideration. We have to look at the details. The basis for all new steps is a massive reduction of migrants coming from Turkey to Europe. "The other side of the coin is that we cannot overlook the fact that Turkey is offering shelter to two and a half million refugees and lots of Turkish money has been spent on helping the refugees. Europe has to pay tribute to all these efforts by the country.

"We have to see both sides and openly discuss all the issues with Turkey. Now is the time for action. We have to fight the smugglers at the Greek-Turkish border to implement the agreement and to offer support for refugees coming from Aleppo and Syria", Weber concluded.


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