Why Merkel’s deal with Turkey won’t work

First, the envisioned mass group deportation of irregular migrants from Greece back to Turkey is probably illegal under Europe’s commitments to the Geneva Conventions, which calls for individual evaluation of asylum cases and not mass deportations. Judicial review of this deal may well strike it down.

Second, the 1-1 swap model with Turkey is a nonscalable fantasy. EU leaders acknowledge that it does “not establish any new commitments on Member States as far as relocation and resettlement is concerned.” In other words, European leaders assume that any refugees accepted directly from Turkey will come out of the already agreed 160,000 quota slated for relocation from inside the European Union. While EU leaders should be applauded for trying to replace illegal migration through Turkey with a new regularized and legal route for refugees to enter Europe, it defies belief that EU member states will be more willing to accept refugees directly from Turkey than they have been willing to accept relocations from fellow EU members Greece and Italy. To date only a ludicrously low 885 refugees have been relocated, a fact certain to dampen Ankara’s willingness to accept returned irregular migrants from Greece. Rather than a 1-1 swap arrangement, this deal actually appears only to be a 0.00001–0.00001 arrangement.

That is from Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, the piece has other good points too.


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