Asylum chaos in the Netherlands: state being sued

The Dutch Council for Refugees VluchtelingenWerk has sued the Netherlands over inhumane conditions in asylum centres. For weeks, hundreds of people have had to sleep outside because the main reception centre in Ter Apel is overcrowded. Now for the first time the government wants to open an emergency shelter - against the will of the municipality concerned. Right-wing and conservative parties, meanwhile, are calling for a halt to asylum in the country.

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

Citizens' interests are being ignored

The politicians themselves are to blame for the crisis, De Telegraaf writes:

“Instead of doing something about the influx of foreigners, the government prefers to alienate citizens with cosmetic measures. ... The fact that it steamrolls local authorities and forces the admission of asylum seekers while it itself hesitates to take effective measures to stem their influx comes across as a betrayal. ... On top of that, recognised refugees have priority in the allocation of the small number of available flats, so this raises the question of whether the politicians in The Hague feel more solidarity with the world or with their own citizens.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

The Hague must comply with EU treaties

The Netherlands can't turn away asylum seekers just because the system is underfinanced, De Volkskrant counters:

“Previous governments had already tried everything possible to limit the influx of asylum seekers, but many proposals failed due to the European treaties that the Netherlands signed. If the Netherlands really wants autonomy over migration policy, it will have to withdraw from these treaties and leave the EU. The UK's Brexit was also set in motion by the immigration debate in the country. Although the fact that it is an island also plays a role: it can effectively monitor its borders.”