Project News

Revisiting EU-Turkey Cooperation on Migration: Roadmap for an Enhanced Partnership

25 June 2021

A new policy brief by the ICMPD Country Office in Turkey looks into ongoing cooperation between the EU and Turkey on migration matters, including the implementation of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement.

The policy brief takes into account the recent migration context in the region and the EU, and advocates five essential elements for enhanced cooperation: extending cooperation strategically to all areas of migration management, further strengthening the resilience of refugees and host communities in Turkey, focusing joint efforts on durable solutions, enhancing dialogue/cooperation on regional issues, and leveraging the positive momentum in overall EU-Turkey relations.

While EU-Turkey cooperation on migration matters started long before the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis, the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement came as a unique agreement for a joint response to a crisis that neither the EU nor Turkey could handle alone. It reduced irregular arrivals to the EU, channelled support to Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey, and established a sui generis framework for regional cooperation on a complex and sensitive topic for both the EU and Turkey. Strategic interests of both the EU and Turkey align regarding the need for renewed consensus on cooperation in the field of migration. Grounds for a constructive re-engagement between the EU and Turkey seem to have emerged following the most recent European Council meetings and positive messages at leaders level on both sides.