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."