Netherlands to take in 7,214 more refugees in new EU redistribution plan

Refugees at the Lebanon-Syria border (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/H. Murdock)Child asylum seekers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/H. Murdock)

The European Commission has set up a new distribution formula for the redistribution of 120 asylum seekers across the European Union countries. The Netherlands will have to take in 7,214 refugees, on top of the 2,047 refugees assigned to the country before the summer.

This is according to the still confidential distribution formula that the Volkskrant managed to get its hands on. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice President Frans Timmermans will officially present the proposal on Wednesday. The proposal needs must be approved by a large majority of the member states before it can be implemented.

According to the newspaper, the Commission is trying to placate the harshest critics of the Brussels asylum quotas with this new formula. The new formula halves the share of refugees of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This resulted in other countries, like the Netherlands, Germany and France having to take in more asylum seekers.

According to the Commission, the refugee situation has deteriorated significantly since the summer. The number of refugees entering the EU through Italy, Greece and Hungary has doubled. To give these countries some relief, the Commission wants to redistribute 120 thousand asylum seekers to the remaining EU Member states over the next two years. That is about 62 percent of the migrants that have arrived in the tree countries over the past few months - 54 thousand from Hungary, 50,400 from Greece and 15,600 from Ital.

The formula takes into account the population, the national income, the number of asylum application and the unemployment rate in the countries that will take in more refugees. The recipient countries will receive 6 thousand euros per asylum seeker they take in. Italy Greece and Hungary will receive 500 euros for the travel expenses of each refugee that is redistributed.

At 7,214 refugees, the Netherlands is taking in 6 percent of the total refugees that are to be redistributed. Before the summer, the Dutch share was 5.2 percent. Belgium will have to take in 4,564 asylum seekers from the three countries.

EU Ministers of Security and Justice will discuss the plan next week. On Wednesday Timmermans and Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos will also present an action plan to accelerate the return of failed asylum seekers to their countries of origin. Currently less than 40 percent of the failed asylum seekers actually leave the EU.


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