According to the European Court of Auditors, EU aid worth billions for refugees in Turkey is not sustainable. It is unclear whether the financed projects will continue after the funding expires, according to a report published by the Luxembourg authority.

Refugees were supported with training measures and in setting up businesses, but there was no follow-up as to how they later fared as employees or entrepreneurs. In addition, new schools for refugees were built, but the auditors did not receive sufficient data from the responsible Turkish ministry to assess what impact this had.

An EU-Turkey agreement was concluded in 2016. The agreement stipulates that Turkey will take action against illegal migration to the EU. Brussels had promised Ankara six billion euros as part of the refugee pact.

Court of Audit: Projects are progressing too slowly

In its report, the Court of Auditors also criticized the fact that the financed projects had progressed more slowly than planned. Development projects have been delayed due to stricter building regulations, the corona pandemic and rising inflation. The earthquakes in Turkey in 2023 would also have had a significant impact on the projects.

The Luxembourg authority recommends that the EU Commission, among other things, obtain educational data on refugees and host communities from the Turkish authorities in order to obtain evidence of success. In addition, the measurement of the impact of the projects needs to be improved.

According to the Court of Auditors, there are currently more than 4 million registered refugees living in Turkey – with a total population of around 87 million people. Of these, 3.2 million are of Syrian origin and more than 320,000 come from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.