The deal was seen as one of the EU’s key responses to the wave of refugees heading to Europe from Syria, Iraq and other war zones last year. As a major transit country for migrants seeking to reach the EU, Turkey is currently hosting more than 2.2 million refugees. EU states gave initial backing to the aid plan, which is meant to help improve living conditions for refugees, at a special summit with Turkey in November, and at the EU summit last month.
However, EU finance ministers have yet to reach a definitive settlement over the financing of the fund, with Italy blocking the proposed plan that would take €1bn from the EU budget, while national governments would pay for the remaining €2bn. Italy argues instead that the entire €3bn should come from the EU budget.
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