Extra emergency accommodation for asylum seekers, "Dublin Centre" in Zaventem

Key ministers have clinched a deal on measures to counter the shortage of places in reception centres for asylum seekers. This was announced by the new Asylum Secretary Nicole de Moor (Flemish christian democrat) in the Federal Chamber. 1,500 new places will be created, and a so-called Dublin Centre will be installed for asylum seekers that have applied elsewhere in the EU before. 

There has been a shortage of emergency accommodation for some time, forcing various arriving asylum seekers to spend the night in the open air. Belgium has been convicted for this on various occasions. Nicole de Moor recently said that solving this accommodation issue would be one of her first priorities.

The federal government has found extra help from the army. In the short term, 750 extra places will be created in army barracks. In the middle and longer term (next year), 750 extra beds will be offered in container villages.

De Moor also confirmed the creation of a so-called "Dublin Centre" in Zaventem. This centre is meant for asylum seekers that have already made an application for a residence permit in another EU country. The aim is to discourage them to do so, since the Dublin Centre will speed up the procedure to send them back to the country where they first made their application. 

The Dublin reception centre in Zaventem will have 220 beds, maybe more in the longer term. As many as 54 of each 100 asylum applications are made by asylum seekers that already filed an application elsewhere in the EU. "The aim is to make their stay at this Dublin Centre rather short", De Moor said on the plans. 

The government also hopes to discourage asylum seekers with few chances to get a residence permit, to come to Belgium. It is also the aim to shorten the sometimes lengthy asylum procedures. 

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