14 March 2016
Thessaloniki ESI at Greek-Turkish workshop on migration and refugees
Photo: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
Photo: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

ESI Senior Analyst Alexandra Stiglmayer presented at a Greek-Turkish workshop on migration and refugees organised by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Thessaloniki on 14-16 March 2016. She focused on the outline of an EU-Turkish refugee deal that was agreed in principle between the Turkish prime minister and EU leaders on 7 March in Brussels.

ESI has advocated since last September the need for a comprehensive EU-Turkey cooperation agreement on refugees that would be based on two central elements: firstly, the rapid return to Turkey of all people including asylum seekers who reach Greek islands with a simultaneous effort in Turkey to become a genuine third safe country for refugees; and secondly, substantial resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey to EU countries.  Many elements of ESI's proposal have made it into the EU-Turkey blueprint agreed on 7 March. Alexandra pointed out that the agreement, if implemented, will benefit all sides – Greece, the EU, Turkey and refugees – and that the challenge now is to finalise it politically and then to implement is. Implementation will require a huge effort and the mobilisation of substantial resources.  She concluded by saying: "The EU-Turkey deal has the potential to show that border control and management of refugee flows can be combined with compassion and respect for human rights. If it does this, it will be truly ground-breaking."

Thessaloniki. Photo: ESI
Thessaloniki. Photo: ESI
About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com