The European Commission will approve additional € 3 billion in funding for Syrian refugees living in Turkey, officials from the European Union said before meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Varna later this month, Reuters reported.
Relations between the EU and Erdogan in recent years are tough, but the bloc depends on Turkey to stop immigration from the Middle East.
The Turkish state has accepted 3.5 million refugees from Syria and the EU has already used the first tranche of 3 billion euros to help them, the Dnevnik newspaper recalls.
Over one million refugees and migrants reached the EU in 2015, most of whom were able to enter the bloc via Turkey. Brussels has agreed to help move migrants to Turkish land in exchange for Ankara not allowing them to cross into Greece. The deal significantly reduced the number of refugees in the EU.
At the end of February, European Council President Donald Tusk announced that EU heads of state and government will decide in March whether the meeting scheduled in Varna with Erdogan will take place. Given that the next European Council meeting is 22-23 March and the EU-Turkey meeting in Varna scheduled for 26 March, it is clear that the decision will be made three days before the widely-advertised Bulgarian gathering, which is currently the chairman of the Council of the EU.