EU, Turkey to align migration policies following border crisis

The European Union (EU) will check up with Turkey on the implementation of the 2016 migration deal, European Council President Charles Michel said on Monday.

Michel told a press conference that a team will be established on each side to work”to clarify the implementation of the deal between Turkey and EU to be certain that we are on the same pace, that we are in the same interpretation about what we do.”

Michel made the remarks after meeting visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, together with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels late on Monday.

The team work will be led by Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and his Turkish counterpart, said Michel, who stressed the importance of consultation among EU member states as well.

At the press conference on Monday, von der Leyen said the 2016 deal remained valid, while admitting there were missing elements. The two EU leaders discussed with Erdogan “how to implement, to map it again, to analyze it, to have a common understanding what is missing and what is already in place.”

Since Feb. 28, Greece has been facing returns of refugees and migrants across its border with Turkey, after Ankara decided to allow tens of thousands of people to reach its land border with Greece, in response to recent developments in Syria’s Idlib province.