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Inaki Irazabalbeitia

Former MEP, Aralar

Today enters into force the shameful EU-Turkey deal

Mar 20, 2016

As European citizen I’m really ashamed of this agreement, but, to be honest, I’m not fully surprised taking into account the shift of both the EU and the majority of the member states dealing with the issue of fundamental rights and the respect to European fundamental values in this last years.

 The deal is an aggression toward human rights. There are some key issues that we need to underline.

1- The deal leads EU Member states into serious human rights and international law violations. It is incompatible with basic EU principles that guarantee the right to seek asylum, the prohibition of collective expulsions and the guarantee of an assessment of individual needs for international protection.

Furthermore, Member states aren’t idiot, quiet tricky instead. They give the agreement the form of ‘statement’. In consequence, there won’t be any other procedure to approve or ratify it neither at European level (at the European Parliament, for instance) nor at national level. So, an instructive lesson of no-accountable procedure! Where are democratic controls?

2- Wording and concepts change. There is no more ‘refugees’; from this moment they became ‘illegal migrants’. That reminds me the practices of totalitarian regimes like Spanish francoist that called itself ‘organic democracy’.

3- The statement only refers to Syrian refugees, thus completely disregarding the situation for asylum seekers originating from other countries. Hypocrisy in the highest level! There is no war in Afghanistan, Eritrea or South Sudan!

4- Turkey cannot be considered a "safe third country" as it does not fulfil many of the requirements for designation as a safe third country under the Procedures Directive. Moreover, Turkey is evolving in a very concerning direction in the field of protection of human and fundamental rights and civil liberties. It can’t be considered a full democracy.

EB leaders could say that there is no other alternative and rather cynically they can state that they are doing a favour to refugees protecting them from mafias. There are alternatives, but there is a lack of commitment, humanity and solidarity.