Stenbock House, 15 March 2015 – The Government approved the Estonian position for the European Council meeting, which will be held 17-18 March, at today’s cabinet meeting. The European Union intends to reach an agreement with Turkey concerning the mitigation of the migration crisis during the European Council meeting.
The agreement includes a scheme for the readmission of illegal immigrants, acceleration of visa liberation for the citizens of Turkey, additional financing for the Refugee Facility in Turkey, opening new chapters in the joint negotiations between Turkey and the European Union, and cooperation with Turkey in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria.
Estonia supports the adoption of the EU-Turkey statement, which contains the agreements of the European Union and Turkey concerning the mitigation of the migration crisis, at the European Council meeting that will be held on 17-18 March.
Estonia has agreed to extend the usage period of the Refugee Facility in Turkey, which is meant for mitigating the migration crisis, and is also on board with increasing the facility by 3 billion euros after the availability period is over, if there is justified need to do so. Before making an additional financial allocation, it should be ensured that the facility functions in accordance with set goals. The size of the Estonian contribution will be decided during separate negotiations.
In the past, the European Council has decided to allocate 3 billion euros to Turkey for helping refugees in 2016 – 2017; Estonia contributes 2.8 million to that sum. The Estonian contribution to the EU-Turkey Trust Fund will be paid as the European Union payments, which are reflected in the jurisdiction budget of the Ministry of Finance. The payment decision will be made by the Government.