Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

Policy statements and debates

Belgium

Government agreement of 1 December 2011

This Governmental Agreement states that immigration should be framed better and in accordance with international obligations. The government is to work towards a harmonised EU policy. The current laws are to be correctly applied and any form of abuse shall be prosecuted as of priority.

It is suggested that one single minister should coordinate all matters relating to asylum, reception and immigration. The minister will be responsible for reception, asylum, stay and return policy, and will consult with all parties involved. A yearly report will be submitted to the parliament in the interests of transparency.

The Governmental Agreement also sets out the responsibility of Belgium to offer asylum to those who have fled persecution but simultaneously points out the need for strict measures to limit the pressures for reception of asylum seekers. The government will work in cooperation with countries of origin in the organisation of discouragement campaigns to avoid the arrival of candidate refugees who have no chance to be recognised as refugees.

The Governmental Agreement pledges to do its utmost to provide a definitive response within 6 months of the submission of the asylum application and will aim for asylum procedures to be run as efficiently as possible.

In terms of commitment to resettlement, the agreement states (unofficial translation in English):

2.7.9 on page 135:

"Like other member states of the European Union, Belgium will take part together with UNHCR in programmes for return of refugees to their country of origin, integration of refugees in the first country of asylum or resettlement of refugees from countries where they are unable to stay without danger to their safety or where no long-term solution can be found."

Files attached to this content:

Government agreement of 1 December 2011 in Flemish

Parliamentary debate about resettlement from Libya (2011)

This debate concerns a decision of the Cabinet, dated 24 March 2011, to resettle 25 refugees from Libya in 2011 is part of the UNHCR Global Resettlement Initiative (see page 1-3).

Files attached to this content:

Parliamentary debate 2011 resettlement from Libya in Flemish and French

Parliamentary debate about resettlement of Iraqi refugees (2009)

This is a Parliamentary debate about a proposal adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2009 for resettlement of 50 Iraqi refugees from vulnerable groups, such as single women with or without children, who were residing in refugee camps in Jordan and Syria (see pages 9-12).

Files attached to this content:

Debate about a proposal to resettle Iraqi refugees (2009) in Flemish and French

Question to the Senate about the Resettlement Programme (2009)

The written question (n° 4-6349) to the Senate about refugees, the Resettlement Programme and Refugee Funds (2009) is accessible in French at:

http://www.senate.be/www/?MIval=/Vragen/SchriftelijkeVraag&LEG=4&NR=6349&LANG=fr


The response is available in Dutch only:

http://www.nahima.be/fileadmin/MEDIA/docs/VRAAG_Resettlementprogramma.pdf

Question to the Secretary of State regarding resettlement (2011)

Minutes of the Commission of the Interior, General Affairs and Public Service (3/5/2011, number 4325, pages 3-5):

Question from Mrs Daphne Dumery to the Secretary of State for budget, migration and asylum policy, family and federal cultural institutions policy about the reception of 25 Eritreans. The response is also included in the minutes. Moreover, information regarding resettlement procedures and about the background for resettlement from Libya in 2011 can be found on page 9.

Accessible in French and Flemish at:
www.dekamer.be/doc/ccri/pdf/53/ic212.pdf#search=%22hervestiging%22

Question to the Secretary of State regarding the reception of Iraqi refugees (2010)

Written question and answer (08/02/2010): Question 82 of sir Daniel Ducarme dated 4 January 2010 to the Secretary of State for budget, migration and asylum policy, family and federal cultural institutions policy regarding the reception of Iraqi refugees and answer to it are available in French and Flemish at:

www.vluchtelingenwerk.be/bestanden/parlement/10.03.08,-Kamer,-SchrV&A,-Bull97,-Opvang-van-Iraakse-vluchtelingen.pdf

Question to the Minister for migration and asylum policy regarding resettlement (2009)

Written questions and answers (04/04/2009):

Question 122 by the Member of Parliament Josy Arens dated 13 March 2009 to the Minister for migration and asylum policy regarding the resettlement of refugees in Belgium (page 307) is available in French and Flemish at:

http://www.lachambre.be/QRVA/pdf/52/52K0057.pdf

Belgium snapshot

Size: 30,528 km2

Population: 10.7 million

Year of EU Entry: 1952

In the Schengen Area: Yes

Protection Status Granted: 3,568 (2011)

Resettlement Scheme: Programme to be implemented in 2013

Resettlement Quota: 100 refugees in 2013

Resettled Refugees: 25 (2011)

Source: The information about the size, population, in the Schengen area, and year of EU entry is taken from europa.eu.