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

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Policy statements and debates

Resources from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken)

Again, the segment below has been summarily translated by our Dutch Country Collaborator for the Netherlands, Fenya Fischler. The source (in Dutch) is linked below.

Vluchtelingenbeleid, Brief van de Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, 23 November 1999

Refugee Policy, Letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, November 1999. Background information on resettlement quota policy since 1984 and changes until 2001

  • The quota policy was first put into practice on 1 January 1984 and incrased on 1 January 1987 at the request of UNHCR from 250 to maximum 500 resettled refugees.
  • Due to the increase in the number of asylum applications and asylum seekers given permission to remain in the Netherlands etc the quota policy should be revisited in this light. However, we do not wish to abolish the resettlement quota policy. The Netherlands wishes to continue showing solidarity to those countries who are forced to receive large amounts of refugees and displaced persons.
  • However the government sees reasons to terminate the selection of refugees in group on the spot (which was what took place until now). From now on the quota will only be for individually nominated refugees, who will be nominated by the UNHCR.
  • The Dutch assessment framework will consist of the Refugee Convention, the Aliens Act, the general official reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the policy of the Secretary of State for Justice concerning the country of origin of the refugee.
  • The quota will remain at 500 persons per year. This will apply for the years 1999, 2000 and 2001. In total this will be 1500 refugees. If more refugees are invited one year, the subsequent numbers can be adjusted. The quota will be reviewed after this time period.
  • Within the quota there is a subquota of 3 years of 100 persons for disabled refugees, who cannot be further treated in the country where they are other elsewhere in the region. This implements the “Twenty or more” plan of UNHCR.
  • The only difference in treatment between quota refugees and other status holders will henceforth only be the manner of transfer. For quota refugees the Netherlands will pay for the costs of transfer. In the further processes there will no longer be a distinction between manner of arrival/transfer.
  • Family members will henceforth form part of the quota that is financed by the Netherlands.
  • The tasks and responsibilities concerning the first reception of resettled refugees will be transferred to the Secretary of State for Justice. The implementation of reception will further be provided by the COA.
  • The Secretary of State for Justice will decide about individual requests on the advice of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.