Bulletin of the Institute for Western Affairs (No. 229/2016), Dr Joanna Dobrowolska-Polak, “Turkey, the European Union and refugees. Agreements on handling the migrant crisis”.
The agreements concluded at the European Union Summit of heads of state and government held in Brussels on March 17-18, 2016 raise hopes of coming to grips with the migrant crisis while allowing Germany to salvage its leading role in Europe with that regard. The outcome is a major success of German diplomacy. However, it is marred by the serious flaw of the EU-Turkey agreement being based on a foundation that breaches international law.
The German concept manages to reconcile the irreconcilable: while the latest agreements respond to the demands to abandon the “open door policy” towards migrants, as put to Germany by other European states, they also allow Germany to walk away in the belief that the country managed to stay its policy course and, in view of the partial or complete sealing of borders along the Balkans route, will remain the only European country to fulfill the obligations of international refugee law by willingly accepting refugees.
This article is part of a Special Series of Institute for Western Affairs Bulletins dedicated to the current issues of mass human migrations from conflict-torn countries to Europe. Its scope extends to social consequences, public perceptions and views as well as the political and economic challenges associated with the influx of refugees to Germany, Poland and other European countries. A range of perspectives on such issues will be presented in the successive editions of the Bulletin.