Everything has changed in the four years since the EU-Turkey agreement was made. On the one hand, Turkey has stopped acting as a gatekeeper state for Europe’s borders and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has announced an open border policy as a way to exert pressure on the EU. On the other, increasing numbers of irregular arrivals are reaching Greek coastlines, where the country’s slow asylum system is in collapse and the refugee camps are overcrowded, unsanitary and insecure. The four years of this agreement show that containment policies do not work (inside or outside the EU) and that any migration policy that is meant to be effective must consider the lives left on the margins.
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