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Brussels has concerns about tougher Dutch immigration policy

Wednesday 25 May 2011

The European Union is ‘concerned’ about Dutch plans to amend the country’s immigration and asylum rules, EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström told the NRC in an interview on Tuesday.

Malmström would not go into details but did say: ‘We have already expressed some concern and are now in dialogue with the Netherlands.’

Current rules already give enough room to tackle integration problems, up to a certain limit, she told the paper.


‘You have to look at the consequences if you change the rules… For example, family reunification is meant to make people who live legally in your country feel better,’ the commissioner is quoted as saying.

The Netherlands is the only country she has heard saying the rules on family reunification need changing. ‘I know the Netherlands thinks it important but I do not hear it from other countries,’ she said.

Age limit

Under Dutch rules, men or women wishing to bring in a foreign partner must earn at least 120% of the official minimum wage. Their partner must pass a language and integration test in their country of origin and be at least 21 years old. The new government wants to increase that to 24.

In February, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner criticised Dutch family reunification policy for focusing on ‘restricting and reducing the number’.

The measures are a concession by the minority government to the anti-Islam PVV which wants a 50% reduction in non-western immigration.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I wish Europe would talk less and act more. Fine this government. Not only in this case, but also on the heavy cuts in spending on the environment.

By pepe C | 25 May 2011 9:11 AM

Also, Human Rights Watch has criticized the existing Dutch policy as too inflexible already. http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/05/14/netherlands-discrimination-name-integration

Also, the Ministry of Justice's own large study of the effects of the increased integration requirements found that, at best, it had no positive effect on integration, and at worst, led to worse integration results (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum report).

By Rob | 25 May 2011 4:28 PM

Thank God for the European Commission for their civilized approach to an increasingly xenophobic and unpleasant regime.
The Netherlands is indeed a small country but it doesn't have to pander to tiny minds.

By Edward Ka-Spel | 25 May 2011 5:16 PM

sound no different to the rules Australia enforces.

By jenny | 25 May 2011 8:33 PM

I think the new policy makes a lot of sence.

By vernon | 26 May 2011 12:39 AM

Of course the real question here is why is the EU deciding what migration policies the Netherlands should or can follow? Thats non of their business.

By Durendal | 29 May 2011 7:47 AM

I don't think it's a concession to the PVV either btw. It's being reported as such in a lot of English language articles about this but I believe this migration policy is actually from the VVD program.The PVV wants a total stop to non-Western migration.The VVD wanted policies that would reduce migration by 50% and only allow people in that are able to contribute.

By Durendal | 29 May 2011 7:57 AM

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