Turkey Had Asked For €3bn EU Approves Action Plan

Syrian refugees arrive in FriedlandEuropean Council President Donald Tusk’s warning to Turkey that it will only win concessions from the EU, such as fast-tracked travel visas, if it successfully reduces the flow of refugees reaching Europe has drawn reaction from the European Parliament.

EU states have approved an action plan for Turkey, which it is hoped will ease the flow of migrants to Europe.

Nearly 600,000 migrants have reached the EU by sea so far this year, many of them travelling from Turkey to Greece before seeking to head north.

Turkey made a number of demands in exchange for helping to stem the flow.

In a press conference in Brussels, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he felt “cautious optimism” over the deal.

Reports in Bulgaria said that an Afghan man was shot dead while trying to enter Bulgaria from Turkey late on Thursday.

He was part of a “large group” of migrants trying to enter Bulgaria, AFP reported, quoting the interior ministry.

At the Brussels summit, European officials agreed to: accelerate visa liberalisation for Turks wanting to visit the EU’s borderless Schengen area – if Turkey complies with certain criteria
“re-energised” talks over Turkey joining the EU.
Turkey had also asked for €3bn (£2.2bn, $3.4bn) in aid, something German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU states were considering.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said talks over the sum to be given to Ankara would continue with Turkish officials over the coming days.

Mrs Merkel will travel to Turkey at the weekend.

“There is still a huge amount to do,” Mrs Merkel said. “But you cannot say that we’ve achieved nothing.”