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Swedish MEPs divided over EU deal with Turkey

Updated onsdag 4 maj 2016 kl 14.30
Published onsdag 4 maj 2016 kl 09.40
Turkiska riksförbundet ifrågasätts nu av ansvariga myndigheter.
Turkish human rights and fear of increased migration make some MEPs oppose the deal, despite government support. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Today the EU Commission proposed a visa-free deal with Turkey, as part of its plan to reduce refugee flows from the country. Some Swedish MEPs have already decided to vote against it, and others are sceptical.

Of Sweden’s 20 members of the EU Parliament, five tell Radio Sweden they will vote to stop the deal, and three are committed to supporting it.

The remaining 12 say they are waiting to see what the Commission proposes, yet they differ in their attitude. For example, Feminist Initiative MEP Soraya Post is sceptical that Turkey will fulfill all of the EU criteria to qualify, especially when it comes to the treatment of minorities inside Turkey.

Some of the undecided liberal MEPs emphasize that in principle they are positive to the idea of visa-free deals. The Greens also see freer travel as positive, and want to keep a clear separation between this proposal and the migration agreement.

The proposed deal will have to be passed by the EU Parliament.

Swedish MEPs who are already against the idea are those of the Christian Democrats, Left Party, and Sweden Democrats, plus one Liberal. Those committed to the deal are from the conservative Moderates.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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