European Union leaders ending their summit in Brussels have agreed on an “action plan” with Turkey to try and stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
On offer is a possible 3 billion euros in aid to improve the lives of two million Syrian refugees to encourage them to stay put.
There was also more talk about reforming the EU’s asylum mechanism rather than on the issue of quotas.
“We discussed tonight what the member states can contribute but we still need clear instructions for this. But generally there was a widely spread opinion that it is better to house the migrants closer to their home than financing them in the end in our own countries and so it was a very productive discussion,“said Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Besides the funds, Turkey gets a promise of re-energised talks on joining the bloc,although this would depend on Turkey meeting previously agreed conditions.
The leaders also agreed to coordinate border controls to slow the influx of migrants crossing Turkey from Asia.
Reporting for euronews Sandor Zsiros said:
‘In the following years, relations between Turkey and Europe will be influenced highly by the migration crisis. The next step in this issue will be taken by the German chancellor Angela Merkel, who will visit Ankara this Sunday. ‘