No Turning Back: Greece and the EU–Turkey Statement Seven Years On

Written by Angeliki Dimitriadi / December 2023

Seven years after the Statement between the European Union and Türkiye on the admission and return of Syrians arriving in Greece, the EU, Türkiye and Greece are still negotiating how to renew their cooperation on migration. The Statement continues to serve as a blueprint, despite the fact that the cooperation framework with Türkiye only existed for a brief moment. In Greece, meanwhile, the Statement has reshaped the asylum system into a laboratory of restrictive approaches characterized by decreasing.

We show that Greek domestic policy actors have been most important in implementing current policies. However, European Union institutions (the Justice and Home Affairs Council and the European Council, but especially the European Commission and the EU Agency for Asylum) have played a significant role in encouraging, facilitating and financing policy changes.

Domestic politics in Greece make drastically altering migration policy unrealistic in the short term. However, even under current circumstances in the short term, policies could be more transparent and more could be done to foster accountability.