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The Commission has today adopted the second report on progress by Turkey in fulfilling the requirements of its Visa Liberalisation Roadmap, highlighting the steps made by Turkey since the last report of October 2014. At the EU-Turkey Summit of 29 November, Turkey committed to accelerating the fulfilment of the Roadmap, including by anticipating the application of all the provisions of the EU-Turkey Readmission agreement, with the objective of completing the visa liberalisation process by October 2016, provided all the benchmarks have been met by then. Today's report welcomes the new level of engagement and determination demonstrated by the Turkish authorities.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos took note of a number of important steps forward and encouraged further acceleration of the reform process: "I commend the efforts made by Turkey. While being on the frontline of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Turkish authorities have showed a renewed determination and commitment to the visa liberalisation dialogue since the EU-Turkey Summit. I trust Turkey will implement as a matter of urgency the priority measures identified in today's report and that we can continue the efforts towards fulfilling the visa liberalisation conditions together. The Commission will continue to assist Turkey in the implementation of the Roadmap".
The Report notes that, especially after the EU-Turkey Summit of 29 November 2015, Turkey has accelerated the reform process aimed at fulfilling the requirements of the Roadmap. In particular, Turkey, which is offering hospitality and assistance to more than 2.5 million refugees from Syria, has recently made it possible for these refugees to access the labour market, which is expected to facilitate their social inclusion and self-reliance. Turkey also took important measures to ensure access to public services for refugees, including schooling for children. In parallel, Turkey has started to introduce more strict visa and admission rules in respect of nationals coming from countries which are sources of significant irregular onward migration from Turkey to the EU. In addition, Turkey has continued to strengthen its overall border surveillance and management capacities.