Reopening process availability location in Ter Apel

The trial involving the process availability location (PBL) in Ter Apel will continue when the situation in the shelter in the Groningen town normalises. This is apparent from a letter from State Secretary Eric van der Burg of Justice and Security to the House of Representatives. The approach in the PBL was also adjusted in several respects in order to make a reopening possible.

The PBL is intended in the first instance for foreign nationals who have very little chance of staying in the Netherlands, who are known as asylum seekers whose application is likely to fail. These are asylum seekers from a safe country and people who have been granted an asylum permit in another European country. 

In early March, the courts decided in favour of a foreign national who had lodged an objection to his restricted freedom in the PBL. The trial was subsequently paused. It was assessed from a legal perspective what could be improved as a result of the decision. It was then decided to adjust the way of working.

Registering twice a day

Van der Burg writes that the intention is to broaden the trial in Ter Apel and that a foreign national will have to register 2 times a day. Article 56 of the Dutch Aliens Act may be imposed in the event the foreign national fails to do so and/or causes a nuisance. The foreign national must then remain available on location. This measure is also implemented if a foreign national causes a nuisance on the premises in Ter Apel or commits shoplifting outside it, for example. The foreign national is placed in the PBL where he will attend an intensive daily programme aimed at the asylum process and return.

Van der Burg: "I consider it important that asylum seekers with an application to stay in our country that is likely to fail, pass through the asylum procedure quickly and, in addition, that we have enough opportunities to deal with nuisance asylum seekers. The PBL trial has proved to be of added value in this connection. I therefore hope that the situation in Ter Apel will soon make it possible to introduce the variant of the trial that has been developed further.” 

Expansion to Budel

The State Secretary still has the ambition to reopen the PBL in Ter Apel as soon as possible. In doing so, he remains in contact with the municipality of Cranendonck to see if another such PBL can be opened in Budel. The State Secretary will assess together with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers whether asylum seekers with an application that is likely to fail who do not reside at the PBL can be structurally placed in locations elsewhere in the country. This should create a more proportionate distribution in the reception of asylum seekers.