A deal is a deal? Not on the highest level of European politics, so it seems.

In March 2018, it is two years since the EU-Turkey migrant deal came into effect. Some regard the deal as a necessary evil; others as a diabolical pact. Time for a critical analysis of the effectivity of the deal, we thought. Eefje and Els van Driel made the documentary ‘The Deal’.

Gerald Knaus, the founder of Berlin-based think tank ESI, is the architect of the deal. He is reviled by extreme left-wing and human rights organizations alike but also admired for his intellectual courage. He travels around Europe arguing tirelessly for an asylum policy that is both humane and effective.

Meanwhile, the slow pace of procedures and relocation has left thousands of refugees stranded in horrendous conditions on the island of Lesbos. Local residents, volunteers from across Europe and refugees themselves are trying to alleviate the situation. The EU-Turkey deal now serves as an example for new agreements with countries in North Africa. But does it even work? For whom? And what have we learned from it? Documentary The Deal explores the answers to these questions as well as possible improvements for Europe’s current asylum policy.

The film and an interview with Els and Eefje can be viewed at NPO. 'The Deal' is a sequel to the documentary 'Asylum Machine'.

In The Netherlands, the Turkey-deal has disappeared from the political agenda. Wrongly, shows the staggering documentary The Deal.
— Harm Botje, Vrij Nederland


The film received a lot of media attention. Reviews were published in De Groene Amsterdammer and NRC, read the article in Vrij Nederland, or the story by Thomas Vanheste at De Correspondent. (All in Dutch)

A4 Poster_De_Deal.jpg

At the loose ends of the EU-Turkey Deal, people are dying because of the cold.
— Arjen Fortuin, NRC

Special screenings
Special screenings of ‘The Deal’ with a conversation afterwards took place throughout the country.

The Deal made me go to Lesbos and volunteer. Its incredible that this happens in Europe.
— Marthe Beusekamp, real estate agent

Tweede Kamer
In March 2018 Bram van Ojik presented our film with the foreign commission of the Tweede Kamer. Gerald Knaus was present as well. A motion by GroenLinks to investigate the results of the deal - The Netherlands played an important role in its creation - was voted out eventually. 



Scenario and direction: Els van Driel en Eefje Blankevoort;
Camera: Stefano Bertacchini
Editing: Paul de Heer en Eefje Blankevoort
Sounddesign: Björn Warning;
Research: Zuhoor Alqaisi, Els van Driel en Eefje Blankevoort
Production: Nazima Mintjes
Producer: Iris Lammertsma en Boudewijn Koole voor Witfilm
Final editing EO/IKONdocs: Margje de Koning

The Deal’ (2017/52') is a Witfilm & Monocle Productions production, co-produced by EO/IKONdocs. The film was financially supported by CoBO Fonds, Vluchtelingenwerk and Fred Foundation.


Work with Anoek Steketee:

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