Ahead of today’s meeting of EU Heads of State and Government and Turkey

Today, EU Heads of State and Government will hold a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu as part of the reinforcement of high-level dialogue agreed in the statement of the EU-Turkey meeting on 29 November. The EU and Turkey are expected to underline the need to fully implement the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan to deliver a sustainable and sufficient reduction in the flow of irregular migration. The meeting will be followed by an informal European Council where leaders are expected to give their support to the proposals presented by the Commission last week for a faster, more targeted response to major crises, including helping Member States, such as Greece, to cope with large numbers of refugees and to endorse the Commission’s Roadmap for returning to a normal functioning of the Schengen area by the end of 2016 at the latest. The leaders are also expected to strengthen their commitment to implementing the resettlement and emergency relocation schemes agreed in 2015, based on the proposals presented under the Commission’s European Agenda on Migration. In this regard, the Commission welcomes the news that 214 successful relocations from Greece to France, Portugal and Lithuania over the weekend have brought the total number of relocations to date to 874.  President Juncker will also highlight the importance of working quickly to deliver on the European Border and Coast Guard in order to have it operational this summer. Press conferences will take place following the working lunch with Turkey and following the informal European Council and can be followed live on EbS