Thursday 13 May 2021

The Netherlands is not dodging its EU refugee responsibilities: court

Refugee children on the Syrian border.The Netherlands does not have to take in any more refugees from camps in Italy and Greece than it has already done so, judges in The Hague said on Tuesday.

A foundation called We Gaan Ze Halen (we are going to fetch them) had taken the Dutch state to court, arguing that the Netherlands has only taken in 1,433 refugees under the terms of the EU resettlement deal worked out in 2015.

The deal says the Netherlands must resettle 8,712 of the 160,000 refugees in Italian and Greek camps, and, the foundation argues, there are just six months to go before the deadline is reached.

The state lawyer told the court that the Netherlands is meeting its obligations and that fewer refugees have been allocated to the scheme than originally thought. The lower court, and now the appeal court, both sided with this view.

‘The number of refugees to be divided up [between member states] does not have to be adhered to because the number [of refugees] has not been in line with the September 2015 expectations,’ the court said.

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