The EU has committed to send 348 million euros in the form of debit cards and cash to “as many as one million refugees” residing in Turkey. This is essentially the pay-back for the controversial agreement Turkey made back in March to inhibit migrants from entering the EU.
Turkey, as an associate member of the EU (not to be confused with an actual member of the EU), maintains ties but no benefits or restraints that would come from being an EU partner. This could be partially why compensation has been so slow to arrive, especially considering that 6 billion euros were pledged to the cause. Secondly, I would imagine that with all the recent terror attacks and coups (and general political instability), it would be rather hard for this humanitarian effort to proceed as intended. In fact, President Erdogan’s “post-coup crackdown” caused tension, straining relationships between the nation and the economic union, which have struggled to stabilize over the last week and a half.
Personally, I think this agreement is unfeasible and quite frankly, arrogant. I understand that the refugee question is currently of massive concern to European nations, however, displacing those who have travelled thousands of miles in dangerous conditions yet again, and especially displacing them to a politically unstable country where ISIS-related attacks occur on a monthly basis is pitiless. Yes, nations like Germany who have taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants in recent months should be applauded. Yes, it is true that such countries technically have no responsibility to do so. And yes, it is a strain on these countries both politically and socially. However, paying Turkey to keep refugees away? Sending them back to Turkey when they finally, finally reach Greece? Every living person has the right to live in a safe, socially inviting environment, and by refusing refugees and sending them into Turkey, the EU is violating this right and their responsibility as nations with the capacity to help these people.