Just as the longest political deadlock in Netherland’s history is drawing to an end, the government, which has been acting in a caretaker capacity since the March elections, has ordered the port city of Rotterdam and three other regional towns to accept more migrants.
Rotterdam, Enschede, Gorinchem, and Venray will have to take in a combined 2,000 migrants.
Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren and Secretary of State for Justice Ankie Broekers-Knol wrote in a statement to the Dutch parliament that the cabinet has decided on the measure because asylum seekers are constantly coming to the Netherlands, which is facing a migration crisis.
“Recently, we have been trying to encourage local governments to create more space themselves, but this has not been successful enough to deal with the current crisis. It is therefore necessary to have it at national level.
It cannot be ruled out that other municipalities will receive such instructions in the near future,” the statement read.
The government has acknowledged that this is an extraordinary step in administrative cooperation, but the cabinet says the current emergency makes it necessary.
Ollongren and Broekers-Knol pointed out that the number of emergency accommodation needs to be reduced, it is not acceptable for asylum seekers to be housed in sports halls full of camping beds and moved from one place to another every week.
“Such unstable conditions cause a lot of inconvenience to municipalities, residents and asylum seekers as well,” they added.
As instructed by the government, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, in cooperation with the designated municipalities, will determine which facilities should be designated as reception centers and how they should be converted for longer-term housing.