Migration is one of the key priority policy areas identified by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. The Commission's agenda on migration defines immediate measures to prevent further losses of migrants’ lives and to strengthen emergency responses. The agenda on migration sets out a European response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors: EU countries and institutions, international organisations, civil society, local authorities and national partners outside the EU. Against this background, cooperation with Turkey in the area of migration management plays a key role. The Joint Action Plan (JAP) and the EU-Turkey Joint Statement, activated on 29 November 2015 and 18 March 2016 respectively, constitute one of the main pillars of the cooperation between the EU and Turkey in the field of migration. JAP and the EU-Turkey Joint Statement rest upon and reflect the following principles:
- Legal safeguards for all new irregular migrants and asylum seekers crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands;
- A “One-for-One” resettlement scheme, as well as a Voluntary Humanitarian Scheme, once irregular crossings between Turkey and the EU are ending or at least have been substantially and sustainably reduced;
- Accelerating the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue provided that all the benchmarks of the VLD Roadmap are met;
- Speeding up the disbursement of funds under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey;
- Accelerating Accession Negotiations; and
- Improving the humanitarian conditions inside Syria.