One year after the EU-Turkey statement on migration entered into force, we have to reiterate our strong criticism against this deal. The past year has shown that our concerns about the deal were legitimate. The situation of refugees has not improved and instead thousands of migrants, including many children, are now stranded on a few Greek islands and live under poor reception conditions. Those who are sent back to Turkey are facing inhumane treatment.
With this deal, the EU Member States have outsourced their responsibility for the refugees fleeing to Europe, to Turkey and President Erdogan. The EU has made itself dependent on a man, who has been leading his country astray – away from the path towards democracy, the protection of human rights and freedom of speech.
Rather than continuing to rely on Turkey and Erdogan, the EU must take its own responsibilities and show that it can be an effective guarantor for human rights. Instead of trying to keep refugees out of the EU, Member States must finally take their own commitments on the resettlement of refugees seriously. We must ensure that those seeking asylum in the EU are given access to protection and family reunification.
If all Member States stepped up their efforts and shared the responsibility for the refugees coming to the EU, we would not have needed the EU-Turkey deal in the first place. We also reiterate our call for the EU to take steps towards establishing legal and safe ways into the EU, which is now more important than ever.
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