General policy note on asylum and migration (2017)

On the 26th of October 2017 the general policy note on asylum and migration of the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration was published. The policy note provides an overview of the main achievements and priorities in the field of asylum and migration.

The policy note emphasizes the fight against abuse in the various migration procedures. Furthermore, the return of persons in irregular stay (voluntarily if possible and forced if necessary) is put forward as an absolute policy priority. On the other hand, it is also stated that the government wants to commit to a more active migration policy to stimulate labour migration and student migration.

With regard to international protection, the policy paper points to the importance of the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the considerable efforts of the Belgian government on relocation and resettlement, and the fight against the improper use of the Belgian asylum procedure. As regards the reception of asylum applicants, the policy note highlights the need for a new and smart plan regarding the reduction of the reception capacity and the need for a reception model that is sufficiently flexible and efficient to address changing asylum influx.