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.
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.