De Croo: No solution for reception of single male asylum seekers

The federal government is doing all it can to respect the decision of the Council of State on the reception of asylum seekers, but a lack of places means it isn't yet possible to accommodate everyone. Prime minister Alexander De Croo and state secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor announced the news on Friday during the presentation of the "winter plan" for the reception of asylum seekers.

Earlier this week, the Council of State suspended De Moor's instruction to stop offering single male asylum seekers shelter in the Fedasil network. De Moor wanted to prevent families and children from having to sleep on the street. Immediately after the ruling, she said it would not suddenly create more places and that she would therefore not change her policy.

"We have to follow the decision of the Council of State. Will we be able to do it tomorrow? No. But the winter plan is an important step"

De Croo said on Friday that his government had added thousands of places and that never before had so many resources been devoted to ensuring the rights of asylum seekers. "We have to follow the decision of the Council of State. Will we be able to do it tomorrow? No. But the winter plan is an important step," he said.

De Moor said she did not want to put a figure on the number of places the winter plan would provide, only that it would be "as many as possible". This includes not only the creation of new places but also accelerating the outflow of recognised refugees from the Fedasil network.

Saturated housing market

Belgium's saturated housing market is causing some problems and ways have been sought to accommodate asylum seekers with host families. The property sector has also offered places. The winter plan will also facilitate the processing of people from countries with low recognition rates.

However, the plan has not yet received the green light from all the governing parties. Liberal party MR is opposed to the distribution of places in the current version of the plan, because Brussels would be allocated a disproportionately high number of places.


State secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor and prime minister Alexander De Croo © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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