Cooperation with Turkey has emerged as one pillar of Europe’s response to the refugee crisis.
Turkey agreed to step up its border controls to help curtail the inflow of refugees into the European Union. In return, the EU promised to provide Turkey with substantial financial support to host refugees, to speed up the work on easing Schengen visa requirements, and to revive Turkey’s accession process to the EU.
The deal hence intends to provide support to refugees in Turkey and their hosting communities, while preventing irregular migration to the EU.
The new flexibility in dealing with Turkey’s previously frozen accession process, however, comes at a time when Turkey’s political scene is marked by deep polarization and a state of democracy that has come under increasing international criticism.
This topic addresses the question of how the EU-Turkey cooperation needs to be designed in order to benefit refugees and hosting communities in Turkey, without compromising on fundamental values and domestic reforms in Turkey.
How can the EU financial support be effectively provided to communities in need? In what way can NGOs and civil society be included in this process? How can the cooperation between Turkey and the EU be shaped in the future? Which forms of cooperation are possible? And how can the EU make sure to press for reforms in Turkey without putting the cooperation on migration at risk?
The project group of the Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium Hamburg is working on the topic “Future Cooperation between Turkey and the EU”. The project group is supported by an expert team of the YES! 2016.
Pictures (from top to bottom): (c) shutterstock / Borislav Bajkic