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In 1987, Turkey applied to join what was then the European Economic Community, and in 1997 it was declared eligible to join the EU.
Turkey's involvement with European integration dates back to 1959 and includes the Ankara Association Agreement (1963) for the progressive establishment of a Customs Union (ultimately set up in 1995).
Accession negotiations started in 2005, but until Turkey agrees to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Association Agreement to Cyprus, eight negotiation chapters will not be opened and no chapter will be provisionally closed.
Turkey is seeing an unprecedented and continuously increasing influx of people seeking refuge from Syria which has exceeded 2.7 million to date. Overall, Turkey is the country in the world hosting the highest number of refugees, and has already spent significant financial resources on addressing this crisis. A Joint EU-Turkey Action Plan was agreed in October and was activated at the EU-Turkey Summit on 29 November 2015. The Action Plan aims at bringing order in the migratory flows and stemming the influx of irregular migration. the EU and Turkey reconfirmed their shared commitment to end irregular migration from Turkey to the EU, to break the business model of smugglers and offer migrants an alternative to putting their lives at risk in their joint statement of 18 March 2016.
The establishment of the Turkey Refugee Facility at the end of 2015 aimed to provide the European Union with a coordination mechanism that should allow for the swift, effective and efficient mobilisation of EU assistance to refugees in Turkey. The total budget of the Facility is €3 billion for the period 2016-2017. The Facility will coordinate and streamline actions financed from the Union's budget and bilateral contributions from EU Member States in order to enhance the efficiency and complementarity of support provided to refugees and host communities in Turkey. This represents a major additional support.
This represents a major additional support and the Facility will coordinate and streamline actions financed from the Union's budget and bilateral contributions from EU Member States in order to enhance the efficiency and complementarity of support provided to refugees and host communities in Turkey.
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The EU Delegation in Ankara provides more information on Turkey.