Belgian municipalities will receive a subsidy for accepting asylum seekers

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State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor is introducing a subsidy to municipalities that receive asylum seekers, De Standaard wrote on Saturday. “It is the first time we give a premium for this,” said the Fedasil spokeswoman. “Every place counts right now.”

A one-off premium between €2,000 and €3,500 per received asylum seeker should convince mayors. According to De Standaard, this is apparent from a letter that the competent State Secretary Nicole de Moor sent to the mayors on Friday, together with Fedasil.

De Moor therefore also counts on the municipalities, although she uses threatening language simultaneously. She points out that she could introduce a mandatory distribution among the municipalities, “as provided for by law”, but she reckons that this will not be necessary. “We continue to walk the path of voluntary participation.”

However, the subsidy has not yet managed to convince municipalities. “It’s not about the money for us,” said Nathalie Debast, spokeswoman for the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG).

“It’s just no longer possible, after years of yo-yo policy. First, the municipalities had to create extra places, then reduce them again and now make more space. Moreover, there are hardly any places left. The municipal authorities should start renting on the private market, but then they compete with their own residents, who are already struggling to find rental homes.”

 

© State Secretary for Asylum and Migration policy Nicole de Moor pictured during a working visit to the Dublin Centre in Zaventem, Friday 26 August 2022. 

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