Cyprus sidelined as Brussels scrambles to save Turkey migrant deal

Turkey migrant deal. The European Commission has put new pressure on Cyprus in a bid to meet Turkish demands for quicker integration into the Brussels lawmaking machine.


After convincing Nicosia earlier this year to soften its opposition to Ankara’s EU membership bid in order to secure a deal with Turkey on stemming the flow of refugees into Europe, the Commission is now reviving long-frozen Turkish requests for participation in European rule-making bodies on issues such as maritime safety and industrial standards certification.

Diplomats said Cypriots have raised objections in several EU meetings over the last two months to the Commission’s efforts, which could lead to Turkish officials having input on European policy even though it is not an EU member.

The behind-the-scenes push is part of what many see as an effort by Brussels to appease Turkey in order to keep the fragile deal on migration in place. In addition to a promise to move forward on Turkey’s application for EU membership, the agreement includes controversial plans to grant visa-free travel in Europe for Turkish citizens. Critics have complained that the Commission is pushing aside concerns about the Turkish government’s authoritarian rule.

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