The selection of Afghans creates acidic proportions in the demissionary cabinet. The bickering representatives involved are therefore pushing that hot potato to the United Nations Refugee Organization, the UNHCR.
Thats what sources around the cabinet report to De Cceit. As the Foreign Affairs mailbox has been flooded by emails from desperate Afghans for several weeks, the question arises as to how the selection procedure should go. More than 21,000 messages have been received, and it is still unclear how many promising requests are in between those messages.
The House of Representatives order to extend the evacuation scheme for Afghans is causing resentment in the cabinet. The relationship between the women involved Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Affairs), Ank Bijleveld (Defence) and Ankie Broekers-Knol (Asylum) has been chilled behind the scenes, stakeholders report to De Cceit. It can be heard in cabinet circles that ministries do not come out among themselves. By parking the selection at the UNHCR, we hope to prevent the tension from getting even further.
That organization provides emergency relief for refugees during a refugee crisis. In addition, the UNHCR selects hundreds of refugees coming to the Netherlands by invitation every year.
Wednesday the Chamber debates the evacuation of Dutch and Afghans from Afghanistan. Not only are the three members involved, but also Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Last month, the Chamber instructed the majority cabinet to work not only on the evacuation of Afghan interpreters, but of all Afghans who have worked for Dutch relief agencies, human rights defenders, lawyers and womens activists who are in acute danger by the Taliban.
After a heated discussion about the resolution of a motion by D66 MP Salima Belhaj — Secretary of State Broekers-Knol warned that a large flow of asylum could follow in an overly generic approach — the cabinet had to subdue to it. After all, a parliamentary majority was for it.
Coalition partner VVD did not support the motion, fearing an irresistible flow of asylum, and advocated an individual assessment of who is and who is not being brought to the Netherlands. “The motion turns out to be unfeasible, it grows everyone over head,” says VVD MP Jeroen van Wijngaarden.
With the motion, the Chamber has not been aware of what is being taken on the neck, it sounds behind the scenes. Van Wijngaarden finds that the people of the government would be disconcerted among themselves is irrelevant. “I assume unity of the crown, and that the cabinet just speaks with one mouth,” said the VVDer.