Dutch cabinet torn apart by debate over asylum policy: here's what you need to know
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The Dutch cabinet fell on Friday, 7 July 2023, after a long discussion on migration policy. The right to family reunification for people with asylum residence permits was an important issue in this.
Coalition parties disagreed on family reunification
Last week it emerged that the
The cabinet is now "outgoing". This means that no major political decisions will be made until after the elections. As a result, little to nothing is likely to change in the coming period about how family reunification is currently regulated in the Netherlands.
VVD wanted to distinguish between refugees
In the Netherlands, you can receive an asylum residence permit for two reasons, this is called
The VVD party wanted this to change, but it did not succeed. The VVD proposed a distinction between the rights of refugees. That way, they hoped fewer people would apply for asylum in the Netherlands.
People with a permit based on reason B would, under the VVD's proposal, receive a residence permit that had to be renewed every year. It would also make it more difficult for refugees with reason B to apply for family reunification for their family members.
This had been under discussion for months. Coalition parties ChristenUnie and D66 did not agree. That is why the cabinet has now fallen.
Possible new talks after election
An outgoing cabinet should not discuss issues on which there are many different opinions among political parties. It is possible that a new coalition will discuss Dutch asylum policy again after the November elections.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD has announced that he will not stand for re-election.