Tusk has already visited the rest of the countries along the Western Balkan route used by migrants traveling to northern Europe, including Croatia and Austria, and is scheduled to fly to Turkey, the main departure point for refugees heading to Greece.
Earlier Thursday, Tusk told officials in Athens that Europe had little chance of resolving the crisis without full respect of controls on the external borders of Europe’s passport-free Schengen area – signaling pressure on Athens to do more to separate economic migrants from those fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.
The number of migrants crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to EU territory remains “far too high”, EU President Donald Tusk said after talks with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on Thursday.
“Do not believe the smugglers”.
“We want to have a say on where this money is going to be spent”, said the official, adding that Turkey’s priority was to see it spent on education for Syrian refugees. It is all for nothing.
The Visegrad Four – all former Communist states wary of non-European immigration – have opposed a majority European Union foreign ministers’ decision to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy across the 28 member countries.
“I’m convinced that. back to Schengen is a pre-condition for this European solution to the migration crisis”, Tusk said in Slovenia as part of a multi-country tour ending in Turkey later this week.
Announcing his trip to Turkey, Tusk stressed that “the joint action plan remains a priority” and that “we must do everything we can in order for it to be successful”.
They were returned under a 2002 readmission deal between Turkey and Greece and face deportation to their home countries. In the French port of Calais, demolition workers continued pulling down makeshift shelters in the so-called Jungle migrant camp for a fourth day.
The camp has become a magnet for people hoping to reach Britain and many have refused to leave, although there has been no repeat of the violent clashes that erupted on Monday.
“Excluding Greece from Schengen is neither an end nor a means in this crisis”.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday and “assured the prime minister of the commission’s unwavering support to Greece, of his personal support and the commission’s support in helping Greece handle the unprecedented situation as regards the refugee crisis, ” Schinas said.
Greece, which now houses about 25,000 migrants, has hitherto received European Union funding under other programs to bolster its border and security systems, though Athens has complained that the offers have been inadequate.
European leaders are divided ahead of two summits this month on the migration crisis, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that after bailing out debt-hit Greece the country can not now be allowed to plunge into “chaos”.