Rõivas in Brussels: Turkey needs to rapidly curb immigrant flows to the EU ({{commentsTotal}})

Taavi Rõivas (left) talking to Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Brussels
Taavi Rõivas (left) talking to Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Brussels Source: (Riigikantselei)

The main aim of the European summit that started on Thursday was to reach an agreement with Turkey to rapidly ease immigration pressure on the European Union, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) said ahead of the summit.

Rõivas emphasized that both the EU and Turkey had to do their part to curb unwanted immigration, spokespeople for the government told the Baltic News Service on Thursday. “We expect Turkey to rapidly curb immigration flows with the EU's help, and to develop its asylum system to be able to control migrant flows. All member states must at the same time support Greece in alleviating the humanitarian situation of refugees and help the country enhance its capability to fulfill the agreement,” the Prime Minister added.

For this, Greece needed to voice its need for help, he said.

To achieve visa freedom and continue EU membership negotiations, Turkey first had to meet the necessary criteria, Rõivas said. "In the context of membership negotiations, the influence of the European Union is always bigger when sections are open, and substantive negotiations on topics including the ones that are being debated right now are going on," he said.

In their meeting of March 17-18, EU leaders discuss further steps to address the migration crisis as well as priorities for the 2016 European semester. On March 18, Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister of Turkey, will join the meeting for a working session on EU-Turkey cooperation.

The Estonian government approved the decision of the European Commission on Thursday
to establish the EU’s €3bn Turkey refugee facility. It authorized the Minister of Finance to sign orders for the payment of the Estonian share.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS