Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), a European Parliament group, has expressed concern that Turkey is not fulfilling its side of the 3 billion euro agreement with the EU to control its borders.
The EU has failed to see adequate results from the 3 billion euro ($3.28 billion) deal it struck with Ankara for Turkey to control its borders and stop the flow of migrants into Europe, European Parliament member Manfred Weber said on Friday.
“If we don’t see anything happen from the Turkish side in the next few weeks and the number of refugees does not reduce significantly, Europe must put the agreement to the test,” Weber told the Suddeutsche Zeitung.
The politician is the leader of the largest political group in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), a coalition of center-right political parties. Weber himself is a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
Though in recent days the number of refugees arriving in Greece each day has fallen to around 1,500, Weber said that EU members have attributed the reduction to bad weather rather than the efforts of Turkish authorities to stem the influx of refugees and migrants into Europe.
‘Disappointment about Turkey,’ reported the Suddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.
”The results are disappointing,” he said, but remarked that criticism leveled at Turkey should be accompanied by corresponding criticism for EU member states who are also failing to control their borders.
“We have to set an example ourselves,” said Weber.
At the end of November, in exchange for a pledge from Ankara to better control its borders, the EU agreed to give Turkey 3 billion euros in aid. The money is intended for 2.2 million Syrians who have sought refuge in Turkey, in the hope that improving living conditions there will dissuade them from traveling to Europe.
In addition, Turkey received political concessions including the promise of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in Europe and the renewing of talks on its accession to the EU.
However, EU representatives are so far disappointed with the outcome of the agreement. SZ reported Vice-President of the EU Commission Frans Timmermans as saying that “we are far from being satisfied” about the steps taken by Turkey to stop illegal migration.
On Thursday Greek Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas complained that between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants and refugees are still reaching Greece every day.
“It (Turkey) has not done anything to stop human trafficking, as is evident from the migratory flows,” Mouzalas told Greek television.