The failure of the parties in the Dutch government’s ruling coalition to come to an agreement on immigration policy resulted in the collapse of the government on Friday (July 7), highlighting how the issue of asylum seekers entering Europe continues to split governments throughout the continent.One of Europe’s longest-serving leaders, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was in charge of his fourth Cabinet, informed reporters on Friday that he will submit his resignation to the king.In The Hague on Friday, Rutte told reporters, “It is no secret that the coalition partners have quite diverse views on migration policy. And today, regrettably, we are forced to come to the conclusion that these differences cannot be reconciled.A caretaker administration led by Rutte will lead the country until new general elections are held in the autumn as a result of the collapse of the current administration.The coalition government’s parties have been wrangling over migration for months, arguing over the parameters of family reunification and whether to establish two categories of asylum: a temporary one for those escaping conflict and a permanent one for those fleeing persecution.Rutte reportedly demanded that families wait at least two years before being reunited and that entry for children of war refugees who were already living in the Netherlands be restricted. According to Dutch television station NOS, Rutte disputed the reports.Even though the Dutch government already has stricter immigration laws than some other EU countries, disagreements over immigration policy have not abated. A crisis in the government developed this week as a result of two members of the ruling coalition, the Christian Union and the centrist D66, deciding they could not reach an agreement with Rutte’s party.According to a statement from the Christian Union party, “one of the values that are important with the proposals is that children grow up with their parents.” We support that as a family gathering. The party declared its intention to work “heart and soul for a humane and effective immigration policy.”Many European citizens and political parties have found that immigration is an intractable problem, which has increased the appeal of nationalistic and right-wing parties throughout the continent and drawn harsh condemnation from human rights campaigners over how governments have treated migrants. Last year, hundreds of asylum seekers were living in a temporary camp outside an overflowing processing centre in what charity workers characterised as appalling conditions.
Dutch aid organisations tried to assist them.According to the Dutch government, more than 21,000 non-EU citizens applied for refuge there last year. According to the office, more than 400,000 persons immigrated to the Netherlands in 2022, a rise from the previous year.The Netherlands’ housing capacity, which was already constrained by the nation’s population of more than 17 million, has been put under strain by the enormous number of immigrants.Rutte’s Cabinet convened late Friday for its own negotiations after the leading parties of the Dutch government had met numerous times in previous days to try to find common ground.”We had a lengthy conversation. Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren reportedly told reporters as she entered the Cabinet meeting, “We are coming here tonight because we did not succeed.Before the negotiations started, D66 party member and Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag said, “Everyone wants to find a good, effective solution that also does justice to the fact that this is about human lives.”Thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East have applied for refuge in the EU during the past ten years, and as a result, far-right groups opposed to immigration have grown in popularity across the 27-member union. Their success has caused centre- and right-wing parties to move even further to the right on immigration and asylum policy in some nations.The extreme right-wing Vox party in Spain performed better than anticipated in regional elections in June, while the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots, garnered 20.5% of the vote in Sweden last autumn, becoming the second-largest party in parliament.In France’s presidential election last year, far-right politician Marine Le Pen, who has long advocated against immigration, made it to the final round. Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, has maintained his position in part by raging against immigration.In addition, Italy chose a hard-right coalition last year under the leadership of Giorgia Meloni, whose lengthy history of opposing immigration and the EU has raised doubts about the country’s dependability in the Western alliance.Rutte had accompanied Meloni and a senior EU official, Ursula Von der Leyen, on a trip to Tunisia last month in support of EU attempts to control immigration. The leaders announced in a joint statement that the EU would give Tunisia 100 million euros ($109 million) for “border management,” search-and-rescue operations, and anti-smuggling initiatives.Rutte and his Cabinet last resigned in 2021 in response to a study that exposed systemic failures on the part of his administration to shield thousands of households from overzealous tax inspectors. Rutte, however, overcame the crisis and returned to head the Netherlands in December of that year, after nine months of discussions.