The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to tackle the migrant crisis has formally come into effect.
Under this agreement, migrants arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey if their asylum claim is rejected.
Key features of agreement
- All irregular migrants into Greece crossing from Turkey from 20 March 2016 will be sent back. Henceforth migrants’ arrival will be individually assessed by the Greek authorities.
- The EU will resettle Syrian migrant for each Syrian returned to Turkey. In this case priority will be given to those who have not tried to illegally enter the EU.
- By June 2016, it will be mandatory for Turkish nationals to have access to the Schengen passport-free zone. It will not be applicable to non-Schengen countries like Britain.
- The EU is to speed up the allocation of €3 billion ($3.3 billion) in aid to Turkey to help migrants’ crisis.
- Both signatory sides have agreed to re-energise Turkey’s bid to join the European Union (EU) bloc. In this regard formal talks will begin in July, 2016.
Since January 2015, millions of migrants and refugees have entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece via Mediterranean Sea route. Thousands are stuck in Greece as their route north has been blocked. This deal ensures Turkey, which houses nearly 3 million Syrian refugees to get financial aid.