Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/30 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/30 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/30 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/30 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/30 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/30 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/30 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/30 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/30 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/30 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 06/26 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/29 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 06/26 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/29 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/29 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/29 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 06/26 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 06/29 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 06/26 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/29 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 06/26 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Europe

Turkey-Germany migrant deal could be illegal, experts

media European Leaders meet for EU-Turkey Summit in Brussels, Monday, March 7, 2016 Reuters

European leaders met in Brussels Thursday to discuss a plan backed by Germany and Turkey who have agreed to a simple yet legally questionable solution to Europe’s refugee influx. It would mean the EU sending irregular migrants arriving in Greece back to Turkey. For every migrant sent back, the EU says it will take in one Syrian refugee already in a Turkish refugee camp in return.

Critics of the proposal note that Turkey is already overburdened with an influx of migrants and has not fully ratified the Geneva Convention, a 1951 UN treaty on the protection of refugees, making the deal potentially illegal.

Click here for our coverage of Turkey election 2015

“It’s contrary to the protection of refugees that we have under the UN Convention on Refugees and it’s also contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits collective expulsion of foreigners to a country,” William Schabas, an international human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Middlesex told RFI.

“In a much broader sense it’s also contrary to the whole philosophy of the treatment or refugees that has been a part of European policy since the end of the Second World War."

Rules on asylum applications in Europe clearly indicate that all applications must be considered and asylum seekers should not be sent back to a country that does not offer proper protection.

To circumvent this problem, the EU will probably agree a common declaration that Turkey is a “safe” third country.

Proponents of the plan argue the idea is to eliminate human trafficking and smuggling across the Aegean Sea, which has led to a number of deaths. According to Amnesty International researcher Andrew Gardner, however, the plan remains flawed.

“To only have resettlements based on people travelling irregularly to Greece means that in order to resettle someone you need to have another refugee risking his or her life by going to the Greek Islands, which is absolutely mystifying,” Gardner told RFI.

Among the political issues at stake is Turkey’s bid for EU membership. Turkey has been eyeing full membership for years but faces significant opposition from member countries and has never been able to fulfil the criteria.

Fadi Hakura, a political analyst at London's Chatham House, says Turkey's failure to meet human rights standards has taken such a discussion off the table entirely, even with Turkey's involvement in this deal.

“Turkey is no longer meeting the political criteria in terms of freedom, human rights and media freedoms to allow accession to take place, nor is the EU expressing any inclination in favor of Turkey’s accession to the European Club,” Hakura told RFI.

One possible bargaining point for Turkey would be a simplified visa process for Turkish citizens entering the EU, a big win at home for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Migrants reaching Greece’s shores have reached up to 2,000 a day.

The number of refugees remaining in Greece is about to escalate exponentially as yesterday western Balkan nations announced complete closure of their borders. The move comes partially as an attempt to stop migrant flows into northern Europe as details of the Berlin-Ankara deal continue to be worked out.

The deal is expected to be finalised between 17-18 March during an EU summit in Brussels.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.