European budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger said Tuesday he supports an extension of the migrant deal between Turkey and the EU, saying Brussels should allocate another €3 billion toward stemming the migrant flow.
“This is absolutely crucial to give smugglers as little chance as possible of smuggling refugees into Europe for a lot of money,” the German politician told die Welt.
The controversial migrant deal between Turkey and the EU to control mass migration into Europe is set to expire at the end of 2017.
To ensure that the 3 million refugees in Turkey receive enough support, Brussels should grant the country another €3 billion in funding, he said. “A considerable part of this money should come from the EU’s budget,” he added.
Oettinger also said he expects Germany will have to make higher contributions to the EU budget after the U.K. leaves the bloc to make sure “we can meet the challenges we’re facing.” The amount would likely be “less than €5 billion,” according to the Commissioner.
A series of diplomatic spats in recent months have strained relations between Turkey and EU countries. Germany banned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from holding a rally for his supporters in Hamburg ahead of the G20 meeting this week.
In their party manifesto published Monday ahead of September’s federal election, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives reiterated their rejection of full Turkish membership to the EU but emphasized the importance of EU-Turkey cooperation.