Nedzhmi Ali on the ECA Special Report for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey
This statement was presented during the joint meeting of CONT, AFET and DEVE Committees of the European parliament, which took place on 29.01.2019 in Brussels. The ECA Special report was presented by the ECA Member Bettina Jakobsen.
Thank you Mme Chair, Dear Ms Jakobsen, colleagues,
There is a common understanding that the Facility for refugees in Turkey as a central element of the EU-Turkey statement of March 2016 plays an indispensable role for coping with the migration crisis that affected Europe starting in 2015. The results of reduction of the refugee flows are visible especially in the regions of South Eastern and Central Europe, mainly in the southern borders of the EU.
The FRT, as a mechanism for coordinating and streamlining the financial support from the EU and Member States to the refugees in our neighbor, generally has shown consistent results during the first phase. We expect this to continue with visible results during the second phase as well.
While we don´t live in a perfect world, there are some deficiencies in the effectiveness of achieving the objectives of coordinating the financial support. From this point of view, I would like to congratulate the European Court of Auditors (ECA) for the detailed assessment that reveals the drawbacks and shows the ways to overcome them. We are equally satisfied with the response of the European Commission that accepts all of the ECA´s recommendations.
Having regard the information from the Special Report, I would like to address the representatives of the Commission a couple of questions:
1. Firstly, concerning the role of the FRT´s Steering Committee, are you ready to implement the lessons learnt from the activities so far in order to improve the process of setting overall priorities for the second phase of the facility?
2. And secondly, how do you plan to improve the distribution of funding in order to assure its proportionality to the needs in each priority area?
And I think that there is also a need for clarification about the financing of the FRT. I believe that often the mistake is made that the money is received by the Turkish government. No, it is going to the projects, there are over 70 projects and I think that this needs to be clarified, so that MEPs are correctly informed.