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Census of European Studies


EU and Turkey agree European response to refugee crisis


EU leaders and Turkey have agreed a comprehensive plan that opens a safe and legal route to the EU for Syrian refugees while reducing irregular migration. The plan fully respects EU and international law, and comes into effect on 20 March.

European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker underlined that the agreement "respects all European Union and international norms. Refugees and asylum-seekers will have their requests handled individually, and will be able to lodge appeals. The principle of non-refoulement will be respected."

The agreement finalises the one-for-one principle that EU leaders and Turkey provisionally agreed on 7 March: all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey; and for every Syrian returned to Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU. This temporary link between resettlement and return is feasible up to a limit of 72,000 using the EU's existing resettlement and relocation commitments, under which respectively 18,000 and 54,000 places remain available.

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Census of European Studies

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