In a recent interview with the Dutch magazine Telegraph, the Dutch Minister of State for Justice, Eric van der Burg, disclosed that approximately 250 Moroccan citizens, seeking asylum in the Netherlands, have been repatriated to Morocco. This move, according to van der Burg, reflects the success of an enhanced agreement between the two countries, facilitating the return of asylum seekers who fail to meet the necessary conditions.
The minister highlighted the ongoing efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties, acknowledging that an additional 700 individuals are scheduled for repatriation in the next six months. Despite initial reluctance from Morocco to accept its citizens back, the Dutch government’s commitment to improving relations is yielding positive outcomes.
However, challenges persist in the asylum process. Van der Burg noted that some newcomers are adapting to changing circumstances by disappearing illegally before their asylum applications face rejection. He emphasized their awareness that staying in the country is not a viable option, leading to potential detention upon application denial.
According to data from the Dutch statistics agency CBS, around 800 Moroccan citizens sought asylum in the Netherlands last year. Despite this influx, the likelihood of approval for these applications remains low due to tightened asylum conditions, particularly for Moroccans.
Morocco’s classification as a stable country generally renders Moroccans ineligible for asylum in the Netherlands. In 2020, the Council of State, the highest administrative court, took a significant step by deciding to detain rejected Moroccan asylum seekers until their expulsion. However, the implementation of this measure faced initial challenges due to the tense state of relations between Morocco and the Netherlands.
As the repatriation efforts continue, the evolving dynamics between the two nations underscore the complexities of managing asylum cases and diplomatic relations. The success in returning asylum seekers reflects the perseverance of diplomatic efforts, but the ongoing challenges highlight the need for sustained cooperation and understanding between the Netherlands and Morocco.