The Commission welcomed yesterday the agreement by Member States on the details of the €3 billion Refugee Facility for Turkey, which the Commission proposed on 24 November in the context of our cooperation with Turkey on tackling the refugee crisis. The Commission has agreed to increase the contribution from the EU budget to €1 billion, compared to the €500 million originally proposed in November. The EU will now be able to swiftly deliver substantial new financial resources to support Turkey in coping with the presence of Syrian refugees under temporary protection and host communities in Turkey.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "I welcome the agreement by the Member States on the details of the Refugee Facility for Turkey. This is what we agreed at the meeting of EU heads of state or government with Turkey on 29 November. The money we are putting on the table will directly benefit Syrian refugees in Turkey, helping to improve their access to education and healthcare in particular. I also welcome the measures already taken by the Turkish authorities to give Syrian refugees access to the labour market and to reduce the flows. The step taken today will help ensure better prospects for Syrians in Turkey and advance on the implementation of our Joint Action Plan. We must work together to achieve results, in particular when it comes to stemming the influx of irregular migrants."
Commissioner Johannes Hahn added: "Turkey now hosts one of the world's largest refugee communities and has committed to significantly reducing the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU. The Facility for Refugees in Turkey will go straight to the refugees, providing them with education, health and food. The improvement of living-conditions and the offering of a positive perspective will allow refugees to stay closer to their homes."
The Facility will provide a joint coordination mechanism for actions financed by the EU budget and national contributions made by the Member States, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.