Despite the intensified fight against the spread of coronavirus in Europe, the migration flows have not weakened. In the current situation, in fact, violations of the Schengen agreements on free movement have caused a unique situation that needs attention. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency last Wednesday reported an unprecedentedly large number of refugees accumulated along the borders with Greece. On the one hand, one can notice Turkey’s non-compliance with the deal with the EU, but on the other hand, an analysis of the context in which the situation has developed is also necessary.
A reasonable question arises: what is the reason for the sudden influx of migrants at the Greek border? As everyone remembers, the migration crisis developed progressively. The European Statistical Office recorded an increase in February-March, but already in May of last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Germany’s readiness to accept refugees, which, together with favourable warm weather, provoked a massive influx of migrants into the European Union and several border countries in the summer.
It is necessary to understand that in March 2020, the situation is completely different. First, Turkey seems not to have the resources to control and contain refugees, which is indirectly confirmed by the migration statistics of the country. The agreement with the European Union was fundamentally important for Erdogan from both a political and an economic point of view, but even at the time of the negotiations it was doubtful. Buffer states such as Turkey or Mexico in fact experience enormous pressure both internally and externally and cannot always be full-fledged guarantors of compliance with agreements. In my opinion, they are confronted with the forced dilemma of the “buffer state” and, due to their geopolitical and geostrategic interests, are not ready to refuse “tempting” proposals to guarantee stability and restrain migration flows. The current inflow is associated with the deterioration of the situation in Idlib and the movement of refugees towards the borders with the EU, which is partly “supported” by Turkey.