The Netherlands turns down fewer refugees, and fewer leave as well

Refugee children on the Syrian border.

Refugee children on the Syrian border.The number of asylum seekers whose claims for refugee status were rejected last year fell slightly to 8,600 but half of them were allowed to leave the country ‘without supervision’, according to new figures from the deportation service DT&V.

In addition, some 400 Syrian nationals were sent back to another EU country under the Dublin agreement, which states asylum seekers should request refugee status in the first safe country they come to, the service says in its annual report.

In total 2,550 plane tickets booked for people to return to another country were cancelled because the person failed to show up. They either ‘had left for an unknown destination’ or refused to take the obligatory coronavirus test, a spokesman told the AD.

Last year, 48,000 people requested asylum in the Netherlands, the highest number since the 2015 crisis.

The difficulty of dealing with refugees whose application has been requested, and the workings of the Dublin agreement, will be discussed by European ministers at a summit later this week.

Prime minister Mark Rutte has been trying to gather support for a tougher line in the run up to the meeting.

The Netherlands accepted some 78% of asylum requests which were processed last year, up from 66% in 2021, the IND figures show.

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