Coalition MPs oppose foreign travel register in anti-jihad plan

MPs from the ruling VVD and Labour parties are opposed to the cabinet’s plans to keep records of the entire population’s travel movements as part of a package of measures to stop radical Muslims going abroad to fight.

The measure was shelved last year after protests but has now been revitalised and forms part of the official plan to counteract radicalisation and jihad presented by social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher and justice minister Ivo Opstelten on Friday.

‘I do not expect to see a standard holiday register,’ VVD parliamentarian Klaas Dijkhoff told news agency ANP on Saturday. Dijkhoff said he would rather ministers drew up a watch list to circulate to airports and airlines.

Watch list

Coalition partner PvdA also considers the measure ‘goes too far,’ MP Jeroen Recourt said. The cabinet has to come up with another idea which is less privacy sensitive, Recourt said.

The cabinet’s plans include cancelling the passports of people suspected of planning to go to Syria and Iraq, stopping their student grants and social security benefits and, ultimately, withdrawing their Dutch nationality.

Lawyers have already warned the cabinet’s plans could be counter-productive and increase resentment among young Dutch Muslims.

In addition, there is a serious risk that people will be wrongly accused of radicalisation, lawyer Bart Nooitgedagt told the Volkskrant on Saturday. The cabinet’s package of sanctions may also be applied to people not convicted of any crime.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation