16 March 2016

Workshop: The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal – challenges and opportunities

Location Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.
Public Domain: European Commission DG ECHO

16 March 2016 | 10 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. | Room 3.65

By invitation only

Workshop Program

10.00-10.15        Welcome and Introduction

10.15-12.15        Session 1: Turkey’s refugee policy – Challenges and prospects of the EU deal

What are the challenges and prospects that the refugee deal assumes in the context of European and particularly Turkish refugee policies? Can Turkey be a reliable partner for the treatment of Syrian refugees in accordance with the standards under the Geneva Conventions? What are the living conditions, access to work, health care and education of refugees in Turkey? What have the immediate consequences of the EU-Turkey deal been for the latter’s policies towards the Syrian refugees and what is the interaction between the deal, the refugees and Turkey’s Syria policies? Has the EU done more harm than good?

12.30-13.30        Lunch

13.45-15.00        Session 2: Human rights violations in Turkey and the EU’s muted criticism

The EU’s criticism towards Turkey’s democratic standards and human rights record appears to be further waning as the transactional politics of dealing with the refugee crisis has come to dominate the EU–Turkey relations. This reduced interest has coincided with a worsening of the situation in Turkey in terms of the freedom of speech, rule of law, and human rights, particularly in the Kurdish region. Has the EU’s seeming need for Turkey’s cooperation on the refugee issue undermined its leverage on the latter’s policies on human rights and the rule of law?

14.00-15.15      Coffee break

15.30-17.00        Session 3: Prospects for the EU accession process

With Turkey occupying such a central role in dealing with the refugee crisis, the balance of power between the EU and Turkey has shifted. Can the EU regain leverage by means of reengaging in the accession process? If so, can and how the opening of Chapters 23 and 34 be ensured notwithstanding the Cyprus hurdle? What are the prospects for an acceleration of the process?

17.00-17.30        Workshop wrap-up

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