Asylum Minister De Block fears a new asylum crisis is looming

The federal minister Maggie De Block, who is responsible for Asylum and Migration, thinks that the Turkish invasion in northern Syria may trigger an influx in the number of refugees, and "there is a chance of 9 out of 10 that the people will come to Europe. We need a better European asylum policy." 

Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) was the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration between 2011 and 2014, before Theo Francken (N-VA) took over. But after the Flemish nationalists left the federal government in 2018, she took Francken's place.

De Block argues that the number of asylum applications has been on the rise in Belgium and the neighbouring countries even before Turkey invaded Syria. "I have to create 500 to 600 extra places each month," she told the VRT's morning radio programme "De Ochtend".

De Block says the EU is to blame: "Their decision-making on migration matters and sending people back is too slow". Maggie De Block fears that the influx will continue, as there are "around 3.5 million refugees in northern Syria. It's possible that these people will leave the area."