The European Union’s Commission is planning to support visa-free entry to the 26 Schengen Area countries for holders of Turkish biometric passports.

Apart from visa liberalisation, the parties will also discuss migration, internal affairs, and security, according to Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Faruk Kaymakc.

According to Kaymakc, providing funds to migrants and refugees in Turkey does not solve the problem. “We will also analyse if we can bring a new perspective to the Turkey-EU migration issue,” he says.

Following the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement, the process of enabling Turkish citizens to travel visa-free to Schengen Area countries began at the end of 2013. The process has not yet been completed because Turkey has failed to meet five of the 72 benchmarks outlined in the roadmap to visa liberalisation.

So far, the following five criteria have yet to be fulfilled:

  • the fight against corruption
  • complying with the EU norms in terms of personal data protection legislation
  • signing an operational cooperation agreement with Europol
  • providing the Member States with effective judicial cooperation in criminal matters
  • updating anti-terrorism legislation and practices to meet EU standards

In March 2016, the leaders of the EU countries and Turkey reached an agreement to end irregular migration from Turkey to Greece, which called for Turkey to return migrants who had fled to Greece.

The EU promised Turkey in the agreement to speed up the visa liberalization process “with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016.”

Such a thing has not yet occurred, and the EU has frequently been accused of failing to fulfill its end of the bargain. Only this week, Greek politician Notis Mitarachi weighed in on the subject, urging the EU to keep its word.

The EU has also made promises to Turkey, with regards to visa liberalization and trade, and it must abide by these commitments. And we are expecting Turkey to implement what was agreed upon,” said Mitarachi.

Apart from the visa liberalization issue, Turkish officials have accused the EU of failing to pay the entire €6 billion ($7 billion) in aid to Turkey to deal with the migration situation, which was also part of the agreement.

– India’s new age travel digital media


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