ANPThe entrance to the application center in Ter Apel
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 04:30
editor Asylum Affairs
editor Asylum Affairs
For the time being, there will be no second registration center in Alkmaar to relieve Ter Apel. That should have eased the pressure on Ter Apel and helped prevent a second reception crisis. On Monday evening, the six remaining aldermen in Alkmaar resigned during a special council meeting.
A few days before, alderman Ad Jongenelen had already submitted his resignation after his party BAS had left the coalition. The local party thinks the asylum policy goes much too far, party chairman Ben Bijl told NH News.
The end of January tweeted State Secretary Van der Burg (Asylum): “Really very happy that the Alkmaar council is proposing this to the city council. This can help the shelter in the Netherlands enormously.”
Previously, the government had already failed in Bant in the Noordoostpolder. Why is it not possible to find a location for a second Ter Apel?
The motives of municipalities for not agreeing to a so-called Central Reception Location (a location for the identification and registration of asylum seekers) are diverse and largely ‘situational’, writes State Secretary Van der Burg in response to parliamentary questions on this subject. have been set.
This concerns, for example, agreements that the mayor and aldermen have made with the municipal council about the opening of new locations and the preservation and closure of existing locations.
According to Van der Burg, local support plays an increasingly important role. “There is also the impression that an application center is a large-scale location for which no or insufficient social support can be found.”
Ultimately, it is up to the municipal council to approve or reject an application center or another type of reception location. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) is currently in talks with one other municipality about a central reception location, a spokesperson said.
In Bant, the municipality that was first mentioned as a potential location for an extra registration centre, there will be a shelter for family members. There will also be such a place in the municipality of Zevenaar. Family members of residence permit holders are already being accommodated in hotels there.
No location in Alkmaar for the time being
In Alkmaar, such a Central Reception Location could be set up with room for 250 asylum seekers, where the identification and registration of refugees could take place. At the end of January, the Municipal Executive of Alkmaar announced that it had received a letter from the COA with the request to use the old tax office on Robonsbosweg as a reception location where asylum seekers would stay for about a week.
The mayor of Alkmaar has already said that he will not make any decisions about the new location until there is a new council.
Work is now underway on a new college, but it could be weeks or months before it is ready. This means that no decisions will be made for the time being about a new location to relieve Ter Apel. It also means that the pressure on Ter Apel increases when two large locations close in mid-April: the cruise ship in Velsen and the temporary shelter in Biddinghuizen.
Threatening to close Ter Apel
In Westerwolde, the municipality in which Ter Apel is located, city council members threaten in a press release to close Ter Apel if there is no clarity about a second registration location soon. The municipality has started a mediation process with the COA about terminating the administrative agreement on the reception of asylum seekers.
Formally, that agreement can only be terminated by Ter Apel in 2030, but a majority of the local government parties are now threatening to terminate the contract earlier because the COA does not comply with the agreements. The condition for this is that both parties have first gone through mediation. That process is still ongoing, according to Marco Visscher of Westerwolde Municipal Interests. “The agreements that have resulted from this are now being put on paper and then submitted to the council for approval.”
The party chairman of the largest party does not expect parties to be able to go to court before the summer if the time comes.
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