The EU-Turkey cooperation in the field of migration and asylum: What is wrong with it and how to fix it?

Written by Meltem Ineli Ciger (Suleyman Demirel University), Orçun Ulusoy (VU Amsterdam), Gamze Ovacık (Baskent University) / February 2024

The EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, the EU Turkey Readmission Agreement, and the EU-Turkey funding instruments in migration, including the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, constitute EU-Turkey instruments for cooperation in migration and asylum. The EU-Turkey Statement, which was adopted more than seven years ago, has been unfortunately adopted as a model for other EU-third country cooperation arrangements in the field of migration. It is important to analyse the EU-Turkey migration cooperation instruments and how they are implemented in practice, take stock of what went right and wrong, and finally draw lessons on how to improve the EU-third country cooperation instruments in terms of transparency, accountability, compatibility with international law, effectiveness, and alignment of these instruments with the Global Compact on Refugees. This policy brief, which is based on ASILE reports on the EU-Turkey migration cooperation arrangements authored mainly by national researchers who are Turkish legal academics, seeks to highlight problematic issues relating to the EU-Turkey cooperation instruments in the field of migration and asylum and their implementation and suggests ways to improve these issues.