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16 May 2024

Netherlands: Coalition parties propose stricter migration and integration measures

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After months of negotiation, 4 political parties in the Netherlands have reached a coalition agreement. They presented a policy proposal comprising 10 key chapters, including with focus on strict asylum reforms and integration requirements, and instigation of a temporary 'Asylum Crisis Law' allowing for far-reaching actions on migration.

The key points from the coalition agreement are as follows:

  • The indefinite asylum permit will be abolished, and requirements for the temporary residence permit will be tightened.
  • Asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected are to be deported as often as possible, including through forced measures.
  • Those with refugee status will no longer receive priority in allocation of social rental housing.
  • Automatic family reunification will no longer be possible.
  • The 'asylum seeker dispersal law' will be repealed. The law aimed to distribute asylum seekers and refugees more evenly across the country, preventing certain municipalities or regions from disproportionately accommodating asylum seekers.

Additional obligations on integration include:

  • extension of the standard naturalisation period to 10 years, regardless of the type of residence permit;
  • foreigners seeking Dutch nationality must, if possible, renounce their original nationality;
  • the language requirement for naturalisation is raised to level B1;
  • 'integration' includes knowledge about the Holocaust and its victims.

Read more about the measures outlined in the coalition agreement.

Additionally, the coalition will request permission from the European Commission to opt out of the European Asylum and Migration policy. They also advocate for stricter border control and the implementation of a ‘two-tier status system’ which will entail granting migrants different legal statuses based on their purpose or right of residence, such as permanent residency versus temporary or conditional residency.

Further, additional requirements will be introduced for non-European Union labour migrants, and student migration will also be restricted. This includes limiting the use of English in universities, setting a maximum number of foreign students, and increasing tuition fees for non-EU students.

The previous Dutch cabinet fell in July 2023 due to disagreement over migration issues and failure to reach a decision on measures to control the 'influx' of asylum seekers into the country. This marked the end of Prime Minister Rutte's 4th cabinet after a year and a half. Subsequently, a long period of negotiations and the formation of a new cabinet ensued, leading to a period of political uncertainty and the suspension of new policy initiatives.


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Posted by
Jaleesa Latupeirissa
Country Coordinator

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