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The swap deal is perfect: Turkey should make its borders more effectively and should help the EU to get the refugee problem under control. In return, the Turks could soon travel without a visa into the EU. And money is supposed to flow to Ankara.
By Kai Küstner, NDR Radio Studio Brussels:
The Turkish prime minister is known for his facial expression being dominated by a permanent smile - no matter what topic is discussed. But when Ahmet Davutoglu sat in front of the 28 leaders of the EU, his expression mirrored his mood accurately. Solemnly and smilingly he spoke of a historical encounter. It was a new beginning in the relationship between Turkey and the EU.
It was probably no coincidence that the guest talked a lot about his country joining the EU, while the host preferred a detailed devotion on the topic of cooperation in terms of refugees and terror fighting in Syria. While the laboriously plodding accession, talks should now be revived.
But that does not mean Turkey was on the direct way into the EU. Resistance, however, is still large. "Our meetings and our appointments do not mean that we forget the disagreements that we still have," said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. This applies to human rights and freedom of the press. "Then we will return to the topic", Juncker announced.
In spite of all: The EU wants to get help from Turkey to get the refugee problem under control. But it takes a wider range exchange transaction: Turkey should seal its borders more effectively. In return, the European Union brings hope to the people in Turkey to be able to travel as early as autumn of next year without a visa in the EU. If until then certain conditions are met.
In addition, the Europeans pay back: Ankara is to be paid three billion Euros, for example, for the people who had fled from Syria. "For a start," as stated in the final declaration. Who in the EU is to pay how much is still controversial.
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that they believe "Work has to be done on the agreement. But I'm quite optimistic we can fix the issue." Merkel had met on a sort of "mini-summit" on the edge of the actual summit with seven other EU countries: They discussed how one could take over directly and legally Turkey refugees. But this case is still "not a single number" has been named, Merkel said. "If you want to find a legal form of migration, quotas are a possibility."
An "European unification"
Still uncertain is how many EU states could agree to participate in the distribution of refugees within Europe. The chancellor said she did not think that all would join. At least, Merkel said, considering the Turkey-action plan an "European unification" was achieved. There are still too many questions left open. Nevertheless, Merkel was "positive to say that, it is worthwhile to keep on working for it.”
Despite this conclusion: The man who really has reason to smile at the end of the EU-Turkey summit is the Turkish Prime Minister. He enjoys that the EU currently needs Turkey more than vice versa Turkey the EU.