President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday presented a Draft Action Plan on refugee management to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Brussels.
The action plan addresses the refugee crisis at two levels.
The first part mainly focuses on “supporting refugees,” by providing humanitarian assistance, creating better living conditions and long-term solutions and alleviating the refugee burden on Turkey which host 2.2 million refugees.
It also aims to address the reasons refugees are moving from Turkey to the EU.
According to the action plan the EU intends to give Turkey one billion euros until the end of 2016 in support of Turkey’s efforts to manage the refugee presence.
In return, according to the action plan, Turkey is willing to enhance current legislation and adopt secondary legislation.
It also promises to ensure refugee registration and share necessary documents in order to enhance the refugee management strategy.
The strategy includes integrating refugees into the labour system and providing accommodation to those in need as well as public services such as education and health.
The second part aims to enhance cooperation and strengthen Turkey’s capacity "to prevent irregular migration flows to the EU."
The EU also aims to support advanced rescue operations to prevent fatalities during sea crossings and exchange information to fight against the existing smuggling problem.
The EU will promote the systems necessary to regulate the process for entering the EU and identify migrants who are not eligible for refugee status. Furthermore, it will organise “joint return operations” sending those who fail to legitimise their stay back to their country of origin.
Turkey in return intends to readmit irregular migrants without refugee status that are caught by Romanian, Greek and Bulgarian authorities coming from Turkey.
Turkey is also willing to strengthen its visa and residence permit processes for nations from where most of the refugees come from. At the same time it will develop a border management system "in line with the EU-Turkey visa dialogue."
More than two million Syrian and Iraqi refugees are currently living in Turkey, while only 250,000 live in the whole of Europe.
A total of 557,899 refugees travelled to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, while 2,987 others died in the attempt.