European Commission Proposes Visa-Free Travel for Turkey, Details Wait for Finalization


Time: 5: 46 p.m. CEST

The European Union on Wednesday set the initiative for the visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, but the final decision should pass the final approval of the 28 countries bloc national governments and the European Parliament. The New York Times writes EU reached an agreement with Turkey on March 18 after agreement of Turkey to help EU with the refugees and migrant crisis.

The deal signaled an award to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the visa-waiver starting of June. The proposal set from the European Commission includes two other steps, as the Times says. It says changes to a quota system for asylum seekers and recommendations to keep some internal European border controls in the next six months. With the March 18 deal, Turkey should receive about $6.6 billion from EU for the migrants, while resettling one Syrian from a camp in Turkey for each Syrian arriving from Greece.

However, most of the EU countries are sceptic on the deal because of the possibility for the misuse of the visa-free travel in the Schengen bloc. But, Turkey needs to introduce biometric passports as part of the deal, something that will start after June. The Times comments it is not known to which extend the EU is willing “to compromise its principles,” and offers Erdogan “a political prize” aside the bloc’s commitment on human rights.

Turkey has been an EU candidate since 1999 and started accession negotiations with EU in 2005.

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