On February 28, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey “opened the doors” to Europe, warning that “millions” of immigrants would soon be flocking towards the European Union (EU). Over 35.000 refugees gathered at the Greek border only to be stuck there without shelter in the rain and cold upon arrival. Multiple European leaders have expressed their criticism of Turkey using refugees as a bargaining chip. EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said that “Turkey has a big burden … and we have to understand that […] but at the same time, we cannot accept that migrants are being used as a source of pressure”. Nevertheless, the EU is willing to provide more money to Turkey, financially rewarding the behavior they condemn. A short history of the EU’s external deals shows how this situation evolved.
The recent developments between the EU and Turkey have highlighted how easily migration partnerships, or ‘deals’, can lead to breakdown which can have far-reaching consequences. The decision to extend the post-cotonou agreement to allow extra time for negotiations and the recent working paper released by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) show the difficulties – especially on the issue of migration – in the relationship between two other partners, namely the European Union (EU) and the African Union.
The EEPA team is pleased to present the February 2020 issue of the newsletter on Trends in Human Trafficking between the Greater Horn of Africa and Europe. Please feel free to forward this information to others or invite them to subscribe via this link. If you have information to contribute, do not hesitate to contact us.