The Turks are already playing host to over 2m Syrian refugees – and many more could be on their way, if and when the fighting in Syria resumes in earnest. And yet the EU wants Turkey to close the safety valve that allows many Syrians to cross the sea to Greece and the EU. As one German official admitted to me in Berlin recently: “We’re asking Turkey to keep its border with Syria open to refugees, but to close its border to Greece and to accept non-Syrian migrants that we turn back from the EU. I’m not sure I would agree to that, if I were them.”
That is from an excellent blog post by Gideon Rachman. May I add something? I don’t see how that can work!
What about Coase? Gideon has thought that one though too, I wonder if he plays chess?:
In their efforts to persuade Turkey to accept at least parts of this deal, EU officials have dangled various sweeteners – including billions in aid and the prospect of easing the visa regime for Turks wishing to visit the EU. The Europeans also say that they might accept more refugees, direct from camps in Turkey – to reduce the incentives to cross the sea to Greece. But the Turks are understandably sceptical that any such promise would actually be kept.
A decisive, unified EU really is important for solving some problems, but that is exactly what we do not have…
Addendum: Here is more:
According to draft reform options seen by the Financial Times, responsibility for all asylum claims could be shifted [away from the “initial country status” standard] to the European Asylum Support Office.
This offers advice to national governments but would be turned into a federal agency responsible for claims. If Brussels pressed ahead with this option it would mark another transfer of sovereignty to the EU and ultimately require treaty change.
So the new plan is that every EU nation will approve this? And Plan B? Ronald Coase I love you, but I just don’t see how this is supposed to work…