European Council and Turkey to stop the flow of illegal migrants
The European Commission adopted a proposal on Monday to resettle 54,000 Syrian refugees from Turkey to the EU.
The new proposal comes following an agreement reached last week between the European Council and Turkey to stop the flow of illegal migrants into Europe.
The agreement includes an EU commitment to resettle one Syrian from Turkey for every Syrian the country accepts back from the Greek islands.
"Today, I can confirm that the commission is adopting a proposal to amend a council decision to relocate people in need for international protection from Italy and Greece. With this amendment adopted minutes ago, 54,000 places which were foreseen for relocations will now be available for the purpose of resettling Syrians from Turkey to the EU. The proposal responds to the need to commit further places for resettlement from Turkey, following today's agreement to resettle one Syrian from Turkey for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey, after arriving irregularly in the Greek islands", Margaritas Schinas, chief spokeperson for the European Commision, says.
Turkey currently hosts some three million refugees and migrants, about 2.7 million of whom are from Syria. According to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, more than one million refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe from Turkey since early last year.