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EU-Turkey Refugee Agreement: Too Big to Fail

The analysis outlines the process through which the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan (JAP) on refugees came into being and examines the impact of the agreement, including its challenges and successes.

The migrant crisis that has stemmed from the ongoing strife in the MENA region is one of the most devastating and consequential crises of modern times. Its impact has been felt across continents, in countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, along with European Union member states and the United States. In addition to unprecedented regional humanitarian challenges, the crisis shook Europe to its core by challenging its political institutions and humanitarian values. The rise of populism and Islamophobia in the West in general is closely associated with the migrant crisis that has pushed the capacity of countries to their limits.

Perhaps no relationship has been more affected by the refugee crisis than that between the European Union and Turkey. EU-Turkey relations have been strained and undermined by the migrant crisis to such a degree that it seems to have created a “make or break” moment in Turkey’s EU accession talks. This analysis outlines the process through which the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan (JAP) on refugees came into being and examines the impact of the agreement, including its challenges and successes. It also seeks to understand how heightened tensions between the EU and Turkey will affect the longevity and effectiveness of the agreement.

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