European countries are taking an increasingly tough approach to their migration concerns. Immigrants must now pledge to uphold their adopted country’s values or face being kicked out.
Migrants could be fined or lose residency for failing to uphold the European values that were set in place, they are also being told they must learn to speak the language.
All non-EU newcomers to the Netherlands will be forced to sign a declaration saying they will uphold Dutch values, or pay a fine of up to €1250 and have their residency revoked.
The migrant scheme will now be rolled out after successful trials across 13 local councils in the past year.
Migrants will be monitored to see if they uphold other people’s freedoms as well as participate and integrate in society – for example, learning to speak Dutch.
The briefing added the Netherlands asks “all citizens to contribute to a pleasant and safe society, for example, by working, going to school or doing voluntary work”.
The Dutch Government acknowledged concerns about threats to jobs and housing
Hungary has already erected a barbed wire fence along its borders and both Sweden and Germany – two of the most migrant-friendly countries in the EU – have since had to back down from their ‘generous’ approaches.
The Dutch social affairs minister, Lodewijk Asscher, wrote to MPs that the government was “committed to reducing the number of refugees”.
He described the rush of migrants into the country as a threat to jobs and housing and admitted the migrants’ different culture was a concern.
The measures come days after Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, warned the “massive influx” of refugees threatened the fall of Europe.
Mr Asscher said refugees with permission to stay would be housed in “clean but austere” housing, and had a “personal responsibility to integrate, to learn the language and find work”.
He added: “Our society can only function if everyone who settles here participates and respects the basic principles of Dutch society.”
To “promote self-motivation” the government is offering refugees small payments for doing jobs in and around refugee centres, such as cleaning and gardening, for up to 25 hours a week and a maximum of £10 a week.
These sums – far lower than the minimum wage – are permitted because the refugees already receive state allowances if they do not have any means.
The Dutch have already funded ‘grants’ to support refugees of up to £1,670 per person. This fund will help cover language-learning and a mandatory ‘Dutch integration course.’
Mr Asscher described the harder line as the “warm heart and cool head” approach.
Earlier this week the highest court in the Netherlands agreed failed asylum seekers could be refused bed and board if they do not cooperate with efforts to deport them.
So far 1.5million migrants entered the European Union illegally in 2015, the European Commission’s president Donald Tusk announced today.
The influx of migrants has already sparked far-right protests.
Earlier this week, protesters tweeted images of around a dozen bloody pigs’ heads on posts in a field in Enschede in the eastern Netherlands, where an asylum reception centre for 600 people will be built.
The centre became a site of protest last month and six were arrested for giving the Nazi salute.
Jasper Kuipers, deputy director of VluchtelingenWerk, a refugee support organisation, criticized the government’s plans.
He said: “This means that refugees can be living in municipal accommodation for two years with only pocket money and living expenses.
“Meanwhile, these people are expected to participate fully in our society. If they have no money, for example, to take the bus or train, how can we expect them to participate?
“Refugees already have to take a compulsory integration course, and everyone must abide by the constitution, so what is the added value of a participation statement?”