Islamist Turkey and EU Don't agree on how to spend 3 Billion Euro Refugee aid. (TZ).
According to a written statement issued on Dec. 24 by the European Commission, the EU is setting up what was called a “Refugee Facility for Turkey,” a legal entity that will provide coordination on disbursing the funds earmarked for refugees in Turkey starting from Jan. 1.
The European Parliament, representatives of member states as well as those from Turkey will be part of the facility, although the principal driver will be the European Commission. On Oct. 15, the European Council welcomed the idea and endorsed a Joint Action Plan with Turkey on handling the refugees.
A problem has emerged on two fronts: how to ensure an efficient spending of these funds and how to convince all member states that promised to pitch in to the common fund to actually deliver on that pledge?
On the former, according to European Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans, the money will be spent on “providing support to further improve daily lives and socio-economic conditions of Syrians seeking refuge in Turkey." The Steering Committee of the Refugee Facility is expected to “provide strategic guidance and decide on which actions will be financed, with which amount and through which financial instruments.”
In contrast, we are hearing a different song from the Turkish side.
EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır says the decisions will be made by Ankara and not the EU when it comes to deciding how to spend this money.Briefing lawmakers on the background of the negotiations on the deal, Bozkır told members of Parliament on Dec. 23 his government did not agree to a plan by which the EU provides funds and dictates how to spend it. “That cannot happen,” he said, stressing that Turkey is willing to share the list on how it would spend the funds such as education and health but will do it on its own. He revealed a working commission that was set up in the Prime Minister's Office has already drawn up a detailed list of items on where the EU funds should go.
Compounding matters further, it is unclear how to select Syrian refugees from Turkey as part of a voluntary admission scheme to resettle Syrians in EU member states.
The plan is contingent on a reduction in the number of irregular migrants crossing from Turkey to the EU. On Dec. 15, the European Commission called on member states to provide quotas for receiving refugees based on “absorption, reception and integration capacities, as well as population size, [gross domestic product] GDP, past asylum efforts and national unemployment rates.” If Turkey does not succeed in reducing irregular border crossings, the resettlement scheme will be suspended.
Bozkır also claimed those refugees slated for resettlement in EU member states will be screened by Turkey first and foremost, leading to a list of eligible candidates to be drawn up.
Hmmm........Why is Turkey the sole person to decide who qualifies to go to Europe? How many Refugees did the EU Agree upon to take from Turkey.....every year? Anyone surprised? Read the full story here.