‘No proof that asylum policy has an attractive effect on asylum seekers’ Yesterday, 22:29 in Binnenland Once an asylum seeker has arrived in Europe, the presence of family or friends is the most important reason for wanting to continue to the Netherlands.

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An asylum seeker for the center in Ter Apel
NOS News

There is no scientific evidence that migrants and refugees come here because of the Dutch asylum policy. This has emerged from new research by the Verwey-Jonker Institute, commissioned by the knowledge institute of the Ministry of Justice and Security.

The reception facilities in the Netherlands are said to have an attractive effect on asylum seekers, is an often heard argument in the debate on asylum. For example, the VVD is afraid that it will have a pulling effect if asylum seekers are allowed to work faster.

Research by the University of Maastricht has already shown that asylum policy plays only a limited role for asylum seekers and their choice of destination. Asylum seekers can only make a limited choice for the country where they apply for asylum.

Network and financial resources

Safety has the greatest influence on the choices made by asylum seekers, the study shows. War, political insecurity and natural disasters are the main reasons for refugees and migrants to leave their country.

Subsequently, safety in the countries through which they travel also plays a major role. A lack of prospects for the future and the inhumane situation in reception camps, among other things, make asylum seekers want to travel further.

Where a person ultimately applies for asylum has to do with network, infrastructure and financial resources. During the migration, the country of destination can still change, for example due to a chance encounter with a person offering help.

Family and friends

Once an asylum seeker has arrived in Europe, the presence of family or friends is the main reason for wanting to continue to the Netherlands. In addition, the attractiveness of the Netherlands is determined by “the general security situation, prosperity and the economic situation”, according to the study. This is separate from the asylum policy.

However, criteria for granting asylum or rules for family reunification may have “some influence” on the choice to travel from another EU country. But the differences in regulations between EU countries are relatively small in this area, and policy is less decisive than safety and social networks.

  • The influx of asylum seekers this year has so far been lower than expected
  • More asylum applications in the second quarter, fewer following family members than in the previous year
  • Leaked migration letter: coalition parties were prepared to make major concessions
  • Interior

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