JRS Europe policy analysis: the EU-Turkey deal
03 May 2016

"There are serious questions to be judicially examined about the compliance of any returns with EU law and ECtHR jurisprudence." A view of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (Photo: Council of Europe).
JRS Europe EU-Turkey deal policy analysis
The deal is historic but, regrettably, for all the wrong reasons – it represents a serious challenge to the basic principles of international refugee law, the rule of law and democratic accountability. The perverse nature of the ‘one-for-one’ scheme has been justified on the basis of ‘saving lives’ but is cruelly only made operational by risking lives.
Brussels, 03 May 2016 – “The EU-Turkey deal represents a seismic shift in the European Union’s policy towards forced migrants and its international protection obligations,” concludes the extensive policy analysis of the EU-Turkey deal published by JRS Europe today.

In the 24-page document made available to policymakers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders, JRS Europe identifies a number of key human rights concerns with the EU-Turkey deal, setting the context and background for further advocacy action to defend the rights of forced migrants.

Based on consultation with our 15 national offices in Europe, the policy analysis finds: “There are other safe and effective means of enabling people to seek protection within the EU that maintain, rather than vanquish, peoples’ dignity.  

The deal is historic but, regrettably, for all the wrong reasons – it represents a serious challenge to the basic principles of international refugee law, the rule of law and democratic accountability. The perverse nature of the ‘one-for-one’ scheme has been justified on the basis of ‘saving lives’ but is cruelly only made operational by risking lives.”

The policy analysis examines a number of questions:

  • The legality of returns to Turkey and whether this contravenes the principle of non-refoulement. There are serious questions to be judicially examined about the compliance of any returns with EU law and European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) jurisprudence.
  • The return of all ‘irregular migrants’ from Greece to Turkey and the threat it poses to the unity of the family and the best interests of the child.
  • The transformation of ‘hotspots’ in Greece into detention centres and the inadequacy of reception capacity in Greece generally.
  • The form and legal basis of the deal negotiated between the European Council and Turkey. As such, it completely bypassed consultation with the European Parliament and the normal democratic process.
  • The rising importance given to the nationality of protection-seekers in the EU.
  • The deal purports to be a temporary emergency measure, but there is no end date.








Press Contact Information
Oscar Spooner
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