With reports streaming in of the Turks’ growing intolerance towards Syrian refugees, the European Court of Auditors is looking into Ankara’s mismanagement of a facility for that was set up for refugees in Turkey.
The facility, established on January 1, 2016, came after the European Council provided significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey.
The €3 billion facility, €1 billion of which comes directly from the EU budget and €2 billion from the individual Member States, will be thoroughly checked by the auditors to ensure that the centre is being used and run properly.
The facility supports both humanitarian and non-humanitarian activities, but is primarily used to house those fleeing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and serves as one of the bloc’s most effective tools for addressing the refugee crisis. The auditors will look at the set-up and functioning of the facility as a whole, but mainly focus on its management and administrative arrangements.
“As a consequence of increased migration, mainly due to the Syrian conflict, Turkey has become the country hosting the largest refugee population in the world – more than 3.8 million people,” said Bettina Jakobsen, a Member of the European Court of Auditors who is responsible for the audit. “It is of the utmost importance to examine whether EU financial support in this area is effective.”
The results of the audit are scheduled to be published in a report that will be made public by late this year.
Humanitarian assistance provides immediate support to the most vulnerable refugees, particularly those living outside of the camps. Non-humanitarian assistance relates to longer-term development aid with a focus on education, health, migration management, and socio-economic support to refugees and the host population in Turkey.
Turkey has been linked to the EU by an Association Agreement since 1963. The European Council granted the status of candidate country to Turkey in December 1999 and accession negotiations were opened in October 2005.