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Turkey: Is the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal on the Ropes? - by Judy Dempsey

Although both Turkey and Germany have at times threatened to pull out of the March 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal, all indicators point to its survival, despite the heated rhetoric from both sides.

Why? The answer is simple. The deal is solely one of convenience—a pragmatic bargain struck between two parties based on a realpolitik-driven calculation of interests. Europe wants to stem the tide of migrants reaching its shores; Turkey wants cash and other benefits.

The deal may pose an administrative burden for Greece and threaten scores of migrants, but the interests in its success almost guarantee that it will not be scrapped. Despite Europe’s concerns about Turkey’s massive government-led purge and crackdown in the wake of the July 2016 coup attempt and the diplomatic rows over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s use of inflammatory rhetoric against Europe, the desire to keep Turkey as a partner in curbing migration flows is likely to outweigh any sense of moral outrage.

The EU has similar arrangements with Morocco and Tunisia and is seeking further agreements with Jordan, Lebanon, and numerous African states. As such, the EU-Turkey deal is part of a larger strategy of outsourcing migration control, which is set to continue.

Judy Asks: Is the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal on the Ropes? - Carnegie Europe - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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