Decrease of the reception capacity by 10.000 places in 2016
Today, the Council of Ministers has approved the proposal of the State Secretary for Asylum Policy and Migration to gradually reduce the Belgian reception capacity.
Since the beginning of 2016, Belgium has experienced a decrease of arrivals of asylum seekers.
The capacity of the reception network, which had strongly increased after the summer of 2015, is thus no longer adapted to the current needs. There is a certain amount of unoccupied places. The Council of Ministers has therefore approved the State Secretary's request to reduce the reception capacity. About 10.000 reception places for asylum seekers should be closed this year.
The decrease of the reception capacity will be gradual, and it will include the closing of 30 temporary reception centers (with a capacity of about 6.500 places). In order to remain prepared in case of an important inflow of asylum seekers, the government has nevertheless planned a buffer capacity of 7.500 places.
Furthermore, the distribution plan of asylum seekers in the different municipalities of the country will not be activated for the time being.
Several NGOs reacted to the decision, including Ciré (you can see their reaction here).