Labour leader, D66 back centralized EU refugee plan

PvdA leader Diederik Samsom thinks that the European Union should take in refugees together and get rid of the Dublin agreement. The D66 also likes the idea of one European policy on asylum seekers.

According to Samsom, the Dublin agreement - which states that refugees should apply for asylum in the country where they entered the EU - is the cause of the strain on countries like Greece and Italy, which are overrun by refugees, he said in an interview with NRC Handelsblad on Thursday.

After asylum seekers are taken in, the PvdA wants them to be redistributed among EU Member states on a fixed distribution formula. And all Member States should assess asylum applications in the same way to put an end to the "asylum shopping" between EU states. Those who do not meet the requirements should be turned away.

Samsom is positive that there will soon be European agreements made on this. "I think that we are less than six months away from the first European reception posts in Greece and Italy." he said.

The D66 is all for this plan, but parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is concerned that the Labor party's words will not be turned into actions. "It would adorn the PvdA if they do not only say it in the newspaper, but also support it in parliament. We previously proposed a European migration policy. Then we could not count on the PvdA", he said to NRC.

SP parliamentarian Sharon Gesthuizen is concerned about the same thing, wondering how hard the PvdA will fight against coalition party VVD, who wants to completely close the European outside borders and only take in refugees in their own region.