Talking Turkey: 3 billion to control migration
In the days leading up to the EU-Turkey summit that EU Council President Tusk said would "change the rules of the game when it comes to stemming the migration flow," the Commission issued its Decision on the project's funding: the 3 billion "Refugee Facility for Turkey" (pdf).
The Facility is supposed to be funded with 500 million from the EU and 2.5 billion from the Member States, and has the aim:
"to assist Turkey in addressing the immediate humanitarian and development needs of the refugees and their host communities, national and local authorities in managing and addressing the consequences of the inflow of refugees."
Turkish migrant solidairty organisation Mülteci-Der has called the EU-Turkey agreement a "dirty deal over the lives of refugees" (pdf).
The Commission's role will be to "coordinate the Union and Member States' actions by setting priorities and by coordinating the allocation of resources."
A "steering committee of the Facility", made up of two Commission representatives and one from each Member State, "shall provide strategic guidance on the coordination of the assistance to be delivered" and "permanently monitor the implementation of the facility."
According to Article 6 of the Decision:
"Priority will be given to actions providing immediate humanitarian, development and other assistance to refugees and host communities, national and local authorities in managing and addressing the consequences of the inflows of refugees.
"The Turkish authorities shall be consulted in respect to all actions other than those providing immediate humanitarian assistance."
Article 8 says that the Commission must keep the European Parliament and Council "regularly informed" about the work of the Facility, including through annual reports and an evaluation by the end of December 2019.
Foreseen national contributions to the facility are set out in an Annex, ranging from over 534 million from Germany to just over 1.4 million from Malta.
Member States are falling pitifully short with contributions they have already agreed to make (pdf) to various initiatives such as the Africa Trust Fund, the Syria Trust Fund, the World Food Programme and the UNHCR.
Whether the same will happen with the Turkey Facility remains to be seen, but more information should be available by Christmas:
"This Facility is established as from 1st January 2016 for financial contributions under the budgetary years 2016 and 2017. By 21 December 2015, Member States shall communicate the timing of their contributions, including their envisaged payment schedule for 2016-2017 to the Commission."
Source: Commission Decision of 24.11.2015 on the coordination of the action of the Union and of the Member States through a coordination mechanism - the Refugee Facility for Turkey, C(2015) 9500 final (pdf)
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