EU Recommends Voluntary Admission Scheme for Syrian Refugees from Turkey

EU | December 15, 2015, Tuesday // 19:46|  views

The European Commission on Tuesday recommended the introduction of a voluntary humanitarian admission scheme to EU member states to address the problem of Syrian refugees crossing from Turkey into the bloc.

The scheme aims to create a system of solidarity and responsibility sharing with Turkey for the protection of persons displaced by the conflict in Syria to Turkey, the EU executive body said in a statement.

“The scheme should be flexible to take into account the sustainable reduction of numbers of persons irregularly crossing the border from Turkey into the European Union as a result of Turkey's actions. Member States are invited to participate in the scheme on a voluntary basis taking into account their capacities,” the Commission said. 

The scheme will only apply to persons who have been registered by Turkish authorities before the EU-Turkey summit on 29 November which activated the Joint Action Plan approved the previous month.

On 15 October the Commission presented to the European Council a Joint Action Plan negotiated with Turkey to jointly manage the Syrian refugee crisis. The Council endorsed the plan, under which the EU has committed to providing Turkey with significant financial support, accelerating the fulfilment of the visa liberalisation roadmap and re-energising the accession process with Turkey. Turkey and the European Union on Monday officially opened a new chapter in the country’s accession talks as part of the deal aimed at helping Europe cope with the migrant crisis.

“If the irregular flows into Europe through Turkey are successfully reduced, Member States are invited to admit from Turkey persons in need of international protection who have been displaced by the conflict in Syria. Schengen associated states are also invited to participate,” according to the statement.

Distribution of Syrian refugees among participating states should be based on absorption, reception and integration capacities, as well as population size, GDP, past asylum efforts and national unemployment rates. The persons benefiting from this scheme should be granted subsidiary protection or an equivalent temporary status, for no less than one year.

Turkey is currently hosting more than two million persons displaced by the conflict in Syria. Over 750,000 asylum seekers and economic migrants have crossed into the EU from Turkey this year.

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Tags:   EU, European Commission, Syria, refugees, turkey, voluntary, admission, scheme 


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