European Commission releases report on refugee crisis

The report on how Europe is coping with the refugee crisis comes in the same week Italian coastguards rescued nearly 500 refugees.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Syrian and Afghan refugees fall into the sea after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos.

The European Commission has released a report on how Europe is coping with the refugee crisis.

A part of the report includes the deal struck with Turkey in March to stop the influx of thousands of refugees. 

In exchange, Turkey was promised billions of dollars in aid and other concessions including visa-free travel for Turkish citizens into the European Union (EU).

But the deal appears to be in doubt, with both sides accusing the other of failing to keep their side of the bargain.

To liberalise entry into the EU for Turkish citizens, the EU said Turkey has to fulfil seven conditions requested by Europe.

Although the EU said it has so far allocated $2.3 billion dollars out of the $3.2 billion it earmarked for 2016 and 2017.

TRT World's correspondent Jack Parrock reports from Brussels.

Meanwhile, the Italian coastguard rescued nearly 500 refugees from sinking unseaworthy boats in the icy waters of the Mediterranean Sea this week alone.

One refugee was found dead during the rescue operation. 

Italy is trying to reduce the number of people attempting to make the dangerous voyage. 

So far this year, Italian boats have picked up nearly 200,000 people from the Mediterranean.

Click here to read the full report by the European Commission.