Government forces Rotterdam and three other cities to accommodate more asylum seekers
The municipalities of Enschede, Gorinchem, Venray and the greater Rotterdam region are obliged to accept more asylum seekers. The Cabinet has decided to designate these specific locations due to the continued influx of asylum seekers in the Netherlands, Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren and Secretary of State Ankie Broekers-Knol wrote to the Tweede Kamer. . By the end of the year, these cities must create at least 2,000 places to receive urgently the reception of asylum seekers.
Recently, attempts have been made to encourage municipalities to offer more places themselves, but this has not been successful enough to deal with the current crisis, cabinet members said. This is why this step has now been taken at the national level. It “is not excluded that other municipalities will also receive instructions in the near future”, wrote the ministers.
The Central Reception Agency for Asylum Seekers (COA) will now work with designated municipalities to determine what these facilities will include and to identify the exact start date.
The COA is also starting to renovate a building in Alkmaar belonging to the national government’s real estate agency so that it can also be used for the reception of asylum seekers, should this prove necessary at a later date.
Acute emergency shelters are shelters that are set up for a period of at least a few months. It is “a last resort to prevent the deployment of crisis emergency care,” according to Ollongren and Broekers-Knol. Such a deployment leads to accommodating asylum seekers in sports halls filled with camping beds, and possibly moving them from one place to another every week. .
“In view of the current shortage of reception places, there is a good chance that asylum seekers” will be forced to move every week for a longer period. “It is a very undesirable situation for municipalities, residents and asylum seekers which does not provide stability.”
The ministers recognize “that this is a big step, also in administrative cooperation. The current emergency makes this necessary, but it does not help matters. We will do everything possible to shape and support this as best as possible. “