Netherlands parliamentary elections are approaching, with migration becoming a key issue among candidates across the political spectrum as they tackle the challenges of accommodating large numbers of asylum-seekers.
Migration Dominates Campaigning
Candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Netherlands are focusing on addressing the migration crisis. The town of Ter Apel, which was once known for its monastery, is now grappling with overcrowded reception centers for migrants, reflecting the challenges faced across the country.
Political Spectrum Campaign Promises
Candidates from various political parties are campaigning on pledges to address migration issues, including asylum seekers, labor migrants, and foreign students who now represent 40% of university enrollments. Concerns about crime and public order problems attributed to migrants have resulted in calls for stricter policies.
European Migration Concerns
The migration debate in the Netherlands resonates across Europe, with various governments seeking measures to manage the flow of migrants. Italy’s plan to house asylum seekers in Albania and Germany’s initiatives to control the influx of migrants indicate the widespread concern about migration in Europe.
Leaders’ Stance on Migration
The outgoing Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has been part of efforts to address migration, including negotiating with North African nations to combat migrant smuggling. Meanwhile, the stance of Dutch voters reflects a call for more stringent domestic policies on migration.
Diverse Views on Migration
The leading candidate, Dilan Yeşilgöz, of the center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) advocates for making the country less welcoming, citing the attractiveness of the Netherlands’ laws and regulations compared to neighboring countries. However, as a former refugee herself, she emphasizes the importance of ensuring a safe place for true refugees.
Migration-related Challenges and Proposals
The discussions around migration in the Netherlands also touch upon challenges such as the shortage of housing. The New Social Contract party has proposed setting a ‘guideline’ ceiling for migrant numbers, differentiation in the asylum system, and rights for different groups of migrants.
Debate and Polarization
The political debate on asylum and migration is described as polarized, with calls for more realistic and nuanced solutions instead of overly simplistic proposals. Advocates for cracking down on migration raise concerns about the preferential treatment in social housing for refugees, highlighting the complexity of the issue.
Global Migration Coverage
For more global migration coverage, follow AP’s reporting at https://apnews.com/hub/migration