Pevkur: Visa-free travel only if Turkey meets all conditions

Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur (Siim Lõvi /ERR)
5/5/2016 10:47 AM
Category: News

Visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to the Schengen Zone should only be made possible if Turkey met all conditions of its deal with the EU, Pevkur said. The minister also pointed out that the people currently in Turkish refugee camps could see it as an easier way to Europe.

Member of the Riigikogu’s European Union Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson (IRL) commented that refugees potentially crossing over to EU territory with forged documents was the smallest problem, as it didn’t mean open borders and passport control would remain in place.

About the proposed change to the Dublin Regulation, Mihkelson said that he didn’t understand the European Commission's suggestion to make member states contribute financially if they didn’t want to participate in the migration distribution program.

Mihkelson said that such a decision would make European citizens feel snubbed by the EU’s institutions, and that it might even constitute a breach of member states’ sovereignty.

Pevkur said to ETV’s “Aktuaalne Kaamera” on Wednesday that the proposal to reform the Dublin Regulation included several positive points, for instance turning the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) into a proper EU agency. At the same time, Estonia couldn’t agree to the automatic redistribution of migrants.

The minister also pointed out that it wasn’t clear at this point how this would be done, and that the member states hadn’t come to a position on the proposed changes yet.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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