Brussels – ESI at public event: The Syrian refugee crisis and its implications for EU-Turkey relations

17 November 2015
Refugees arriving at the Greek island of Kos. Photo: flickr/Christopher Jahn/IFRC
Refugees arriving at the Greek island of Kos. Photo: flickr/Christopher Jahn/IFRC

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to present ESI's proposal for the Syrian refugee crisis at the Turkish Insights Policy Dialogue in Brussels, organised by the European Policy Centre, in cooperation with the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).


  • Gerald Knaus, Director, European Stability Initiative
  • Zehra Çolak, Head of Foreign Affairs Department, Kimse Yok Mu (Turkish NGO)
  • Annabelle Roig, Senior External Relations Officer, UNHCR
  • Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)

Tuesday 17 November 2015, 10.30-12.30
EPC Auditorium, Rue du Trône 14-16, 1000 Brussels

The civil war in Syria has already triggered the world's largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Millions of Syrians have fled their country with over 5 million now located in several neighbouring states, including Turkey, which now hosts at least two and half million refugees. Over the last few months there has been a significant upsurge in refugees travelling to the EU with over half a million arriving and heading to northern Europe, principally to Germany. The majority have come through Turkey via the Aegean Sea, relying on smugglers. This development has been a wake-up call for the EU, which now recognizes the necessity for cooperation with Turkey in order to better control the flow of refugees into the EU and led to the development of an EU-Turkey Action Plan for the Syrian refugee crisis.

The panel analysed the situation on the ground in Turkey and the EU, evaluated the EU-Turkey Action Plan and how it could be implemented and looked at what kind of longer term assistance Turkey will require to support the refugees.

EPC report on the event