More staff to process asylum applications

Belgium is investing 87 million euros in asylum provisions.  Part of the money is being spent on 3,250 new reception places for asylum seekers as well as ninety new staff for the immigration department and the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons.

The news was first reported by the dailies Het Nieuwsblad, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg.

Belgian asylum and migration minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) explained the grounds for the investments to VRT News: "Since last summer, we have once again noticed an increase in asylum applications.  As a result more reception places for asylum seekers are needed.  Because of the rise in numbers the asylum procedure is taking a little longer and this is why we are recruiting extra staff to be able to process dossiers more speedily.  We are also making investments in information campaigns."

Such campaigns are aimed at deterring people from travelling to Belgium from safe countries with the purpose of applying for asylum when they stand no chance of being accepted.