April 20, 2016

ALDE Press release “No bazaar politics over visa liberalisation”

21650031055_c1bf535336_zsmallTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has declared that Turkey will renege the EU-Turkey deal if Turkey does not get visa liberalisation this summer. The Liberals and Democrats remind the Commission that all 72 criteria have to be met before it proposes visa liberalisation. ALDE Group leader also reiterates its plea to get our own European House in order so that we are not totally dependent on Erdogan anymore.

The ALDE LIBE coordinator Cecilia Wikström added: “It is sad to see how EU-leaders are trying to outsource our European responsibilities to Turkey, by trying to set up a system which ensures that Europe does not need to receive any refugees, despite our international commitments. Turkey is a country that shoots and pushes back refugees at the Syrian border and it is impossible for the EU to cooperate with a country which does not respect international law. It is a mistake to believe that Turkey can solve our problems. Only a truly European approach, based on solidarity and compassion can do this.”

Verhofstadt said: “The Council has signed up to an impossible timetable on visa free travel for Turkish citizen. The criteria and rules for visa free travel is clear and the European Parliament cannot accept endorsing hasty bazaar style negotiations. The EU-Turkey deal can only be acceptable, if standards and legality is respected – we cannot outsource our asylum and migration policy to Turkey”.

“More importantly, European leaders should use this period to make sure that independent from the deal with Turkey, Europe is ready to deal with migration in a systematic way.”

“Turkey seems to see the summer as a deadline. I hope this will put pressure on our leaders to put in place a European Coast and Border Guard, a European Asylum System and a European Blue Card before this summer.”

Cecilia Wikström European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels, Belgium Tel Brussels: +32 (0) 2 28 45622 Tel Strasbourg:+33 (0) 3 88 1 77622

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