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This is the concluding moment of a series of workshops – organized by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies and the Istituto Affari Internazionali, together with Stiftung Mercator and the Istanbul Policy Center – that has been carried out in the framework of a larger programme, Global Turkey in Europe. The series of workshops covered the various dimensions of the refugee crisis and its impact on EU Turkey relations, with a focus on the external and internal dimensions of the EU’s migration and asylum policies. On the external dimension, two events focused on questions on the EU’s cooperation on migration management with third countries: The discussion in Istanbul questioned whether Turkey qualifies as a ‘safe third country’ for asylum-seekers, while the workshop in Catania explored the possibility of the replication of the EU- Turkey deal in other contexts of transit in North Africa. On the internal dimension, two workshops dealt with the issue of the distribution of asylum responsibilities within the EU: The event in Athens focused on the implications of the EU-Turkey deal for the asylum capacities of frontline Member States, while the event in Budapest tackled the issue of the lack of intra-EU responsibility-sharing mechanisms by focusing on the Visegrad countries’ resistance to the relocation schemes. At the conjunction of the external and the internal dimensions, the last workshop in Berlin focused on the issue of longer-term integration of refugees in the light of the experiences of the two leading refugee-hosting countries – Germany and Turkey.
The concluding GTE workshop, to be held in Brussels, will bring the threads together, reflect back on the two years since the peak of the refugee crisis, and look into the future. Based on a panel and open discussion format, the meeting will offer the opportunity to assess the current state and future of both the internal and external dimensions of the EU’s migration and asylum policies, as well as that of EU- Turkey relations in this specific issue area.