EU-Turkey deal on refugees disregards human rights standards

Opinion article
Strasbourg 14/03/2016
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©Photo Massima Sestini

©Photo Massima Sestini

In an opinion editorial published in the International New York Times today, Commissioner Muižnieks warns that the deal the European Council is discussing with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees runs contrary to human rights standards. “The automatic forced return that the deal allows is illegal and will be ineffective” he writes.

“Instead of racking their brains to find a legal fig leaf for measures like collective expulsions, the European Council’s members should have the courage to scrap the deal. They should adopt bold measures at the summit meeting this week that would radically shift the union’s approach to migration.”

Among the measures the Commissioner’s recommends are a more prominent EU role in finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria, a ramped-up relocation of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy and more legal avenues available to refugees to seek protection in Europe.