The EU-Turkey Agreement of March 18, 2016, has been a significant event in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. It is a joint EU-Turkey plan to manage the flow of refugees and migrants into Europe through Turkey, which has been the main transit point for refugees fleeing the war-torn countries of Syria and Iraq.
The agreement sets out a number of key provisions aimed at stemming the flow of refugees into Europe. Firstly, Turkey agreed to take back all asylum seekers arriving in Greece who do not qualify for international protection. In exchange, the EU agreed to resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkey for every Syrian refugee returned to Turkey.
The agreement also includes a provision for the EU to provide Turkey with financial assistance amounting to €6 billion ($6.7 billion) to help the country cope with the influx of refugees and to improve conditions for refugees already in Turkey.
Another provision of the agreement is the promise of visa liberalization for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU. However, this has yet to be implemented due to Turkey`s failure to meet all the criteria set by the EU.
Despite the agreement being hailed as a success in reducing the number of refugees arriving in Europe by sea, it has been criticized for violating the rights of asylum seekers and for being a political rather than humanitarian solution to the crisis.
Critics argue that by returning refugees to Turkey, the EU is violating international law, which prohibits the return of refugees to a country where they face persecution or lack of access to protection. Additionally, conditions for refugees in Turkey have been criticized, with reports of overcrowded and inadequate living conditions.
Overall, the EU-Turkey Agreement of March 18, 2016, has been a controversial response to the refugee crisis in Europe. While it has succeeded in reducing the flow of refugees into Europe, it has also been criticized for violating the rights of asylum seekers and for being a political rather than humanitarian solution to the crisis.