There is disagreement again within the cabinet over the distribution law. Sources about the coalition reported this news hour. The drafting of the law was to be sent to the House of Representatives by the day at the latest, but this deadline was not met. The VVD will not agree on the way municipalities should implement the law.
The distribution law should ensure that asylum seekers are distributed fairly between municipalities and that municipalities that are unwilling to cooperate can be forced to take in asylum seekers. The law has been delayed several times due to discussions between coalition parties.
Coercion in particular was a hot topic in the negotiations. This led to great tensions within the VVD, but at the beginning of this year all parties finally came to terms. But now VVD seems to have reservations. According to the sources, the party believes that the element of coercion was included in the law with excessive force.
“The law itself was fully negotiated,” said political commentator Arjan Norlander. “The VVD agreed. The disagreement is over the basic provisions of the law that municipalities must comply with.” “A law that had to be passed quickly has now not been sent back to the full House.”
A hearing scheduled for tomorrow on the law in the House of Representatives has been cancelled.
Foreign Minister Erik van der Burg (Justice and Security) wanted the distribution law to come into force this year to prevent a repeat of the chaos in Ter Apel last summer. This has been postponed to January 1, 2024, but it is also important to the Secretary of State that the law be dealt with quickly in order to meet that effective date.
Don’t set again
Earlier tonight it was announced that Cabinet wants municipalities to stop picking on certain groups of asylum seekers who they like and don’t want, for example families versus single men. If they continue to do so, the Cabinet itself will still place these asylum seekers in the empty slots that exist, State Secretary Erik van der Burgh of Asylum Affairs reported in a letter to parliament.
“In the extreme case, asylum seekers will be accommodated – if necessary without a request – in reception sites that apply restrictions,” Van der Burgh wrote.
New emergency plan
The Secretary of State also put in place a contingency plan to prevent the reception in Ter Apel from getting out of hand again. Van der Burgh no longer wants asylum seekers to have to sleep outside or in a tent, as has happened regularly in the past year.
The situation in Ter Apel is dire again, and the maximum occupancy has reached approximately 2,000 asylum seekers.
Foreign Minister Van der Burgh explains the new measures here:
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