Turkey wants fresh EU funding to help tackle migration: Davutoglu

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 19, 2015 6:57 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey wants fresh EU funding to help tackle the migration crisis rather than the early disbursal of money already earmarked for it, and wants the sum reviewed annually, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

EU leaders at a summit in Brussels last week said they had agreed on a migration "action plan" with Turkey, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the figure of 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) had been discussed.

But speaking on Turkey's Ahaber TV, a day after meeting Merkel in Istanbul, Davutoglu said that sum would have come from "IPA" fund, money already earmarked it as an EU membership candidate, and that Turkey wanted additional cash.

"The 3 billion euro IPA fund proposal is no longer on the table as we have said we will not accept it," Davutoglu said.

"As for fresh resources, we're talking about a 3 billion euro amount in the first stage. But we don’t want to fixate on this because the requirements may go up, and the assessment for this would need to be done annually."

Merkel on Sunday offered Turkey the prospect of support for faster progress on its bid to join the European Union in return for cooperation in stemming the flow of migrants and taking back those rejected by Europe.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Daren Butler)