National coordination meeting: new reception centres needed
More capacity is needed for the reception of asylum seekers. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) is quickly approaching the limits of its reserve capacity and is currently trying to create room for 5,000 additional people.
There are several reasons why the capacity needs to be increased. For one, there has been a slight increase in the number of asylum seekers entering the country. Furthermore, there is a category of asylum applications that is not processed within the statutory term, meaning certain asylum seekers are spending more time in reception centres as they await a final decision. Thirdly, the outflow from reception centres is restricted by the tight housing market. Additionally, 10 administrative agreements for various locations that the COA would like to extend are set to expire.
The combination of these factors has resulted in a need for additional reception centres. To realise these centres, the COA needs help from local authorities. The members of the national coordination meeting on migration and integration (Landelijke Regietafel Migratie en Integratie, LRT) have written to the King's Commissioners to this effect.
According to prognoses made six months ago, the COA was expected to have received over 25,000 asylum seekers by the end of 2019. However, that number has already been reached. In order to maintain flexibility in the capacity of reception centres, the COA is preparing for the deployment of additional indirect reserve capacity, for instance by utilising holiday parks. Some of the potential locations require additional administrative agreements to be concluded.
In order to realise the extra capacity, the regional coordination meetings have been called upon to help identify potential new locations. These meetings will aim to ensure that asylum seekers are distributed across the provinces as evenly as possible. The national coordination meeting will discuss an initial proposal in early December.