EU agrees 'action plan' over Turkey migrants

The European Union has agreed an "action plan" with Turkey to help stem the flow of migrants into Europe.

EU leaders offered a £3bn aid package, the prospect of easier visas and re-energised talks on joining the bloc if they comply.

At a summit in Brussels, it was also agreed that border controls would be coordinated to slow the influx of migrants crossing from Turkey to Asia.

Chairman Donald Tusk said: "Our intensified meetings with Turkish leaders in the last couple of weeks were devoted to one goal: stemming themigratory flows that go via Turkey to the EU.

"The action plan is a major step in this direction."

French President Francois Hollande said Turks must sign a deal to take back migrants who fail to win refugee status. Credit: Reuters

However, French President Francois Hollande stressed that Turks wouldnot be getting visas on easier terms.

He said one condition still to be met is for Ankara to first stop granting such easy entry to Pakistanis, Afghans and others who end up heading to Europe.

It must also first sign and implement a previously agreed deal to take back from Europe migrants who fail to win refugee status.

"There must be no misunderstandings," Hollande said.

European governments are wary of granting full visa-free access to 78 million Turks.

Any liberalisation is likely to be limited at first to business travellers and students.