It seems Europe has arrived at a crossroads, where it has to take a firm decision to end the Migrant crisis once for all. We have seen how the so called migrants have wrecked the havoc in France over a death of a young boy. We have seen how France has witnessed riots during the FIFA World Cup last year. We have seen how Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and Netherlands are trying very hard to keep such issues under check.
Amid all such brouhaha, this issue caused the first major casualty this morning, when Dutch government collapsed. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government collapsed on Friday after coalition parties failed to reach an agreement on immigration policy. The parties were unable to bridge their differences on how to handle the issue, which has become increasingly divisive in the Netherlands in recent years.
The Dutch government coalition, which formed just 18 months ago, went into a deep crisis when PM Rutte recently proposed to limit the right to family reunions for refugees from war zones to 200 people per month after a period of two years. The proposal was unacceptable to two of the coalition parties, D66 and the Christian Union, and led to a major escalation of the differences between the parties.
PM Rutte’s own party, People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy or VVD, has been under pressure from within to limit the number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands. The party’s more right-leaning members believe that the country is being overburdened by the number of refugees, and that it is essential to take action to decrease the influx.
The D66 party and the smaller Christian Union, seen as the more progressive parties in the coalition, have warned PM Rutte that they will not support any measures that would make it more difficult for refugees to come to the Netherlands.
Rutte, 56, in power since 2010, is the Netherlands’ longest serving prime minister. He told a press conference on Friday he’d like to run for a fifth term but would consult with his party before making a final decision. The Dutch election commission said that the earliest that new elections can be held is in mid-November.
“It is no secret that the coalition partners have very different views on migration policy. This evening, we have unfortunately reached the conclusion that the differences are insurmountable. For this reason, I will shortly present my written resignation to the king in the name of the whole government,” PM Rutte said as quoted by news agency AFP.
As head of state, the king is expected to ask Rutte’s coalition to stay on as a caretaker government until a new administration is formed after the election, a process which in the fractured Dutch political landscape usually takes months. PM Rutte met with King Willem-Alexander on Saturday to discuss a caretaker administration.
Rutte negotiated for months over a package of measures to reduce the flow of new migrants arriving in the country of nearly 18 million people. Proposals reportedly included creating two classes of asylum a temporary one for people fleeing conflicts and a permanent one for people trying to escape persecution and reducing the number of family members who are allowed to join asylum-seekers in the Netherlands. The idea of blocking family members was strongly opposed by minority coalition party ChristenUnie.
Dutch Govt facing resistance of Right parties
According to local media reports, Rutte adopted a firm stance on migration in order to counter a challenge from the right-wing faction of his own party, as the farmer party has been attempting to attract VVD voters.
Rutte has faced ongoing pressure regarding the migration issue due to the presence of far-right parties in the Netherlands, including the party led by anti-Islam figure Geert Wilders.
The fall of the government comes just months after a new, populist pro-farmer party, the Farmer–Citizen Movement, known by its Dutch acronym BBB, shocked the political establishment by winning provincial elections. The party is already the largest bloc in the Dutch Senate and will be a serious threat to Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.
The BBB’s leader, Caroline van der Plas, said her party would dust off their campaign posters from the provincial vote and go again.
The campaign has begun! Van der Plas said in a tweet that showed her party’s supporters hanging flags and banners from lamp posts.
Why so much noise on Migrants?
The current refugee crisis is emblematic of Europe’s ambivalence and failure to manage forced migrations in the present time. Despite being the cradle of human rights and of the very concept of political asylum, Europe is at the same time dominated by the securitarian logic that currently prevails on a global level. Faced with largest movement of migrants and refugees since World War II, Europe has displayed the arbitrariness of its borders, both internal and external.
The integrated borders management strategy to contain migration has gone hand in hand with the process of the European Union’s enlargement to 28 Member States, thus reinforcing the move towards the abolishment of internal frontiers. But today, it is exactly the call to safeguard its external borders that would risk putting into question the very idea of a European common space, as is demonstrated by an increasing tendency to suspend free circulation inside Europe, reintroducing internal controls and boundaries.
Every year, tens of thousands of migrants fleeing war, persecution and poverty risk treacherous routes to Europe in search of safety and better economic prospects. But the lack of safe and legal migration corridors available to refugees and asylum seekers can lead to deadly consequences, riots and unprecedented rise in the crimes.
This lead to several nations to rethink about their immigration and migrant policies. Italy’s populist, right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to introduce new legislation this month that will tighten rules to include forced repatriation for migrants who do not meet refugee status requirements.
Even the British PM Rishi Sunak made a very bold statements, when he said, “if you come here illegally, you will be detained and swiftly removed.”
The way things are moving, it is quite clear that Europe is moving towards a situation where every Nation has to adopt a stringent policy curb the menace of illegal and illicit migration, especially from the African and Middle-East nations.