V4 Report: EU-Turkey Deal on migrants obsolete, says EU Human rights chief.
** Balkan Route closing by Visegrad and others in Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC), plus Macedonia, was the key to cutting migrant demand for Greece.
Nils Muiznieks, human rights commissioner at the Council of Europe, said migrants no longer cross into Greece from Turkey due to difficulties getting further – regardless of the EU migrant deal with Ankara.
The V4 Report has never found ourselves in agreement with Nils Muiznieks but, in this case, he seems to vindicate what we have said from the start.
It was the decision – criticized by Angela Merkel as “not my Europe” – of the Visegrad and various Central European nation states to seal the Balkan pipeline to Germany that discouraged the migrants from seeking Greece.
In our opinion, The Turkey Deal, which was implemented months after the Balkan closing, was overrated and designed for Merkel to try to take credit for the efforts of others. Meanwhile, Recep Erdogan raked in billions of dollars from the EU.
– Migrants have become aware of the difficulties and potential danger on the route from Turkey to northern Europe, and would no longer seek to make the trip, Muiznieks told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.
Turkey agreed to tighten controls along its coastline and to take back the migrants arriving irregularly in Greece (which has not occurred; please see our following post) in exchange for six billion euros to help accommodate the millions of refugees currently in Turkey and the promise of visa-free travel in Europe for Turkish citizens.
However, the changing conditions along the route since the agreement was signed (actually before it was signed as we have documented very clearly in our past posts) have put many migrants off making the trip, according to Muiznieks.
A number of the Central European nation states along the previous migrant routes have closed their borders, leaving thousands trapped in makeshift camps in Greece and Serbia. As a result, many others (but not all) have been deterred from seeking Greece.
The next task must be to develop a permanent mechanism to deport the “trapped” migrants back to Turkey or their countries of origin. There are no excuses.
*** Many Eurocrats may despise Viktor Orban but he has a tremendous focus, determination and ability to get things done. Visegrad, Austria and other European nation states in the CEDC did not wait for orders from Brussels; they took care of things themselves and continue to be the most effective defenders of Europe.
The core foundation of Europe are the nation states, not the socialist bureaucrats of Brussels.