Legal Requirements for the EU-Turkey Refugee Agreement: A Reply to J. Hathaway

There are many open questions and objections against the EU-Turkey deal on an agreement whose details are yet to be negotiated to manage the Syrian refugee crisis. In particular on the reciprocity part: could the agreement as an easily available tool by Turkey to blackmail visa liberalization and progress in the EU Accession negotiations? How will the EU make sure the proper treatment of all returnees? How is the resettlement of refugees from Syria to the EU (and to Germany) going to take place? James Hathaway on this blog has listed three legal requirements for the agreement to be legal. In my view none of these are likely to block an agreement.

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Why the EU-Turkey Deal is Legal and a Step in the Right Direction

Pro-refugee NGOs were quick to castigate the EU-Turkey refugee deal for falling foul of the EU’s on legal standards and for being an anti-humanitarian solution, in particular insofar as forced returns to Turkey are concerned. Academics also present a critical outlook reiterating the legal criticism or criticising the EU for burden-shifting. The critique highlights a number of valid concerns, but these caveats do not unmake the legal and conceptual value of the approach pursued by the EU: mass-influx scenarios require international cooperation.

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Three legal requirements for the EU-Turkey deal: An interview with JAMES HATHAWAY

"The right to decide where to seek recognition of refugee status does not entail the right to choose where international refugee protection is to be enjoyed": One of the foremost experts in international refugee law, James C. Hathaway (Michigan), gives some preliminary indications on the legality of the emerging EU-Turkey agreement on Syrian refugee resettlement.

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