MOSCOW – Turkey has requested that the European Union provide it with extra 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to deal with the refugee crisis, the European Parliament president, Martin Schulz, said Monday.
Earlier in the day, an EU-Turkey summit took place to deal with issues on stemming migration flows into the bloc.
“The further request of the Turkish side for additional money – 3 billion euros are in discussion – needs the cooperation with the European Parliament, we need an additional budgetary procedure,” Schulz said after a meeting with Davutoglu.
He specified the request would cover the year 2018.
“To tackle the refugee crisis, Turkey made some very interesting proposals, concerning the border control, the cooperation between Greece and Turkey, and the proposals are linked to a request of the Turkish side that those refugees who are in Turkey and need support in the country,” Schulz stressed.
He added that the proposal to accelerate EU visa liberalization procedures was a “key element” in Monday’s debate, stressing that European lawmakers were prepared to discuss the proposal subject to endorsement from the Turkish parliament.
Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty. The majority of migrants, especially from Iraq and Syria, arrive in Europe through Turkey.
In November 2015, the European Union and Turkey approved a joint plan to counter excessive migration into the bloc, under which EU member states will give some $3.3 billion to Ankara and fast track negotiations for its accession to the bloc. In turn, Turkey is to help protect EU borders from illegal crossings, and is expected to agree to resettle refugees that have managed to get to Europe from Turkey.