Euro-MPs ‘delighted’ by Commission’s denunciation of criminalisation plan for unauthorised residence

30 March 2011

Euro-MPs ‘delighted’ by Commission’s denunciation of criminalisation plan for unauthorised residence

MEPs from the SP and four other Dutch political parties – Labour, the Green Left, the centrist D66 and the Christian Union – expressed their delight at the European Commission’s answers to questions regarding the Dutch government’s plans to make unauthorised residence a criminal offence. Commenting on the Commission’s replies, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, on whose initiative the parliamentary questions were presented, said ‘The European Commission made it clear that complete criminalisation of unauthorised residence is in conflict with European law. It will be extremely difficult for the government to come up with a legislative proposal which Brussels can approve.’

“The government’s plan is totally counterproductive,” De Jong continued. “For the justice department and the labour inspectorate it would make it much harder to deal with abusive employment bureaux, employers who put unauthorised migrants to work or people-traffickers who smuggle them into the country.“

The Euro-MPs also see the Commission’s answers as an important step in stopping the government’s proposed measures, which have been criticised previously by the Union of Dutch Local Authorities and by the Netherlands Council of Churches. The Dutch MEPs are concerned about the consequences of government plans which they see as poorly thought out, inhumane and counterproductive. The European Commission’s warning will force the government to re-examine its proposals. It is expected that the Dutch Parliament will shortly debate the implications of the Commission’s answers with Immigration Minister Gerd Leers. “We will also be following the government’s plans from the European Parliament with a critical eye and taking renewed action together should this prove necessary.”

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