EU Council Urges Greece to Reconsider Turkey as Safe for Syrian Refugees



refugees1-630x400There is much frustration in Greece over the new EU-Turkey migration deal. The European Council on Justice and Home Affairs has stepped in to try to coax Greece into changing its stance on sending back Syrian refugees to Turkey.

Council representatives are pressing Greece to acknowledge Turkey as a safe third-country for refugees and to explain to the country’s judges that the asylum appeal committees should send them back if denied asylum.

“We have to make clear to Greece that the vast majority of member states consider Turkey a safe country for Syrians to be returned to,” a diplomatic source commented Wednesday to neweurope.com.

Furthermore, it is being suggested that Greece should consider revamping its national asylum system as concern mounts over civil society representatives serving on the committees and creating a conflict of interest, the diplomatic source told neweurope.com. The European Council of ministers is currently in discussions with Greece regarding the practicality of its new national asylum system stating that a system where civil committees review the cases for asylum seekers and their appeals is not neutral grounds for such decisions to be made.

In an attempt to reiterate the Council’s agenda, the source pointed out to neweurope.com that Turkey is not sending many Syrians back to Syria, and does so only in cases where the asylum seeker has fought against the Turkish State. “There are 2.5 million Syrians there and they feel pretty ok,” the source concluded.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council is set to be held to further discuss these issues in Luxembourg from June 9 to 10. In the meantime, Greece has not given any statements on changes it does or does not plan to make in regards to the Council’s suggestions.

 


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