EU ambassadors expressed their anger at a meeting this week after what they perceived as an attempt by the Turkish President Erdogan to blackmail the European Union by willingly allowing migrants to go to the Greek border.
Some EU ambassadors however acknowledged that the EU is in a difficult position because its member states are unable to agree on how to deal with the refugee crisis. This follows the EU’s difficulty in dealing with the influx of thousands of migrants via Greece’s borders coming from and through Turkey. The EU-Turkey relationship is already strained because of security and human rights dossiers and Turkey’s confrontational and aggressive gas exploration off Cyprus’ coast defying the EU and especially Greece.
In order to avoid a repeat of the migration crisis of 2015-2016, the ambassadors believe that the EU may be forced to inject more money into Turkey in order to prevent more refugees from entering Europe.
In March 2016 the EU signed an agreement with Turkey under which Ankara would stop the more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees on its territory from attempting to enter Europe in exchange for six billion euros in aid. So far only half the EU’s money has reached Turkey. Turkey, which economy only now is recovering from a recession, feels it has done more than it can to accommodate the refugees and demands the EU’s and international help.
The EU has not yet decided on the new funds and diplomats have said that any decision on increased funding will probably be only decided on by EU leaders scheduled to meet in Brussels on March 26-27.