The European Union has plans for an over 5 billion euro ($5.9 billion) increase in funding to Turkey and other countries to help them host Syrian refugees, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reportedon Wednesday, citing diplomats.
Turkey, home to 3.6 million Syrian refugees, will receive an extra 3.5 billion euros ($ 4.1 billion) over the next three years, according to a proposal set to be made by the European Commission, diplomats told DW, with the remaining 2.2 billion euros earmarked for Jordan and Lebanon.
Turkey and the EU in 2016 agreed on a deal that aimed to cut the influx of Syrian refugees arriving into Greece. According to the deal, the EU promised the allocation of 6 billion euro in aid to Turkey to be provided in two instalments, which would be used for projects to help migrants.
Turkey has repeatedly accused the bloc of failing to fulfil its promise to help Turkey accommodate Syrians refugees in the country, which number around 3.6 million and failing to provide the full funding as part of the agreement.
The bloc, for its part, has accused Ankara of failing to honour its commitments under the agreement, saying that Turkey has allowed migrants to cross into Europe.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened on several occasions to open Turkey’s borders and allow refugees to flood Europe.
“It has been fully accepted that we have to reserve large sums of money from the EU budget,” DW cited one EU ambassador as saying.
A European Commission plan will be presented to the bloc’s leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, according to DW. The proposal would then require approval from EU governments and the European Parliament in order to become official policy.
On Monday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the EU to update its 2016 migrant deal with Ankara while pointing to the need for further funding.
Maas said the bloc had the obligation to acknowledge that the country had taken on a “not-inconsiderable migration burden’’ for Europe.