Dutch efforts to change EU rules in order to tighten up immigration have been ‘positively received’ by ‘a number’ of EU states, according to a briefing sent to MPs by immigration minister Gerd Leers.
Plans outlined in the government’s coalition agreement – which was drawn up together with the anti-Islam PVV – will require changes to at least five EU directives.
The Netherlands has now come up with a position document outlining a number of concrete proposals to change EU law.
The aim is to solve the ‘problems surrounding integration and the concentration of migrants in big cities,’ Leers said.
However, according to the Volkskrant, the minister has admitted proposed changes to the European directive on freedom of movement are likely to be difficult to change because this lies at the core of the EU philosophy.
European directives can be amended under qualified majority voting rules.
Opposition MPs have been sceptical about the chances of success since the new government took office.
They see the changes as a gesture to the PVV, which has said a 50% reduction in non-western immigration is key to its support of the minority government.
Many of the measures proposed by the Netherlands are aimed at stopping non-EU nationals using other European countries as a spring board to enter the Netherlands.
For an English, French or German translation of the position paper, click here and scroll down.
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