The day after his center-right cabinet collapsed over a dispute over immigration policies, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is scheduled to meet with King Willem-Alexander on Saturday to propose a caretaker government.
Due to the coalition government’s resignation, the Dutch people will likely vote in a general election, which is anticipated to take place in November.
The coalition was allegedly negotiating new family reunion laws as part of efforts to reduce the number of migrants and asylum seekers in the Netherlands.
In recent years, Europe has had trouble managing a refugee inflow. Doctors Without Borders first sent a team to the Netherlands last year to help refugees, largely from the Middle East and Africa, to a receiving center in Ter Apel, a village near the German border in the northeast of the nation.
About 700 people were sleeping outside the reception center in August of last year without their basic needs being supplied in “inhumane and undignified conditions,” the non-profit organization claimed in a statement, adding that things had changed by the time it withdrew the following month.
Due to “turbulence in countries both within and outside the European continent,” the government predicted 70,000 applications for asylum this year, according to a news release issued in April.
There were about 46,000 entries last year — about 35,000 first entries and 11,000 family unifications — with first applications for asylum up 44 percent on the previous year, according to official figures.
Rutte’s proposals included making families wait at least two years before they could be reunited, according to Reuters. He also wanted to create two tiers of refugees — with those fleeing persecution granted more rights than those fleeing war — and to impose a yearly cap of 200 entries for the family members of war refugees who are already in the Netherlands, Politico reported.