“If municipalities do not voluntarily offer asylum, coercion is the only option.”

“If municipalities do not voluntarily offer asylum, coercion is the only option.”


Lack of places, lack of staff, reception of asylum seekers creaks. According to the NRC, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) is on the verge of collapse due to the high pressure. Board member Joeri Kapteijns says it’s a crisis news hourThere are not enough municipalities to establish shelters. “If this is not done voluntarily, I am afraid that coercion is the only option,” he says.

The big question has always been: Which municipalities are prepared to receive asylum seekers? “We’ve been talking to many municipalities for a long time, but it’s taking a very long time,” Kapteijns says. “A number of municipalities are cooperating, but a large number of municipalities are not cooperating. We need an agreement from the municipalities, because it’s sharp. It has to be done quickly so that we can open those sites within the year.”

Norwegian Refugee Council This morning, she stated on the basis of her own investigation that the COA is “on the verge of collapse.” Many employees drop out of Ter Apel, and absenteeism is also high at other COA locations. In addition, there are about a thousand vacancies.

“It’s a real crisis,” says Captins. “You see that at Ter Apel. It has a huge impact on the asylum seekers there, as well as on our staff. We can’t stand that. We’ve already had a few days to close the gate, and then people have to wait outside.”

We want stable locations in the Netherlands in different regions. You should not close these sites again and again, but stay open.

Joeri Kapteijns

in Ter Apel he slept That’s why in recent weeks sometimes people have been outside and on chairs. This week could have been prevented, but that didn’t solve the crisis. Now 43,000 people are hardly accommodated, and COA expects to need an additional 51,000 places by the end of this year. “And some contracts are still expiring,” Kapteijns says. “If it is not extended, we still need 14,000 places before the end of this year.”


Foreign Minister Van der Burgh is working this summer on the so-called “forced law‘, whereby municipalities in the Netherlands are obligated to receive asylum seekers. This law should enter into force on January 1, 2023.

Kapteijns hopes the municipalities will not wait for that. “Every day is important, everything that can be done sooner must come sooner. I hope the municipalities will take their responsibility. We prefer it on a voluntary basis, but if that is not possible, I am afraid that coercion is the only option.”

refugee work Threatens To go to court on Monday to force the government to arrange the reception properly. “This is because of the deadlock between the government and the municipalities. As people lie on the grass, the two are being discussed. So our only option is to go to court.”

Following the NRC article, two COA managers are emailing their employees today. In the email that is in the hands news hourstates that the COA wants to show “including through the media” that “we really want a different way of reception in the Netherlands”.

“There is a plan,” Kapteijns says. news hour. “Only this should be implemented. The plan is that stable sites will be set up in the Netherlands in different regions. These sites should not be closed again and again, but should remain open. If there are fewer asylum seekers at one time, we can also use them for target groups other. Like students.”

NOS op 3 explains in this video how the problems arose in the asylum reception:

Why is it such a mess at Ter Apel

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