10 December 2017
Amsterdam and The Hague – Fact-finding mission to study the Dutch asylum system
Photo: ESI
Photo: ESI

On 10 December, ESI's Gerald Knaus, Alexandra Stiglmayer and Isotta Ricci Bitti attended the premiere of new documentary film "De Deal" ("The Deal") on the implementation of the EU Turkey statement (on TV next year) by Dutch filmmakers Els van Driel and Eefje Blankevoort, followed by a discussion of the EU-Turkey refugee agreement and EU asylum policy with MP Kathalijne Buitenweg (GreenLeft).

After the screening, ESI had a brainstorming with Stefan Kok, long-time advisor for the Dutch Refugee Council and an UNHCR expert on quality assessments, and the former director of the Italian reception system SPRAR, Nadan Petrovic.

On 11 December, the former head of the Greek first reception system, Panagiotis Nikas, joined ESI in Amsterdam. In the morning the team visited the Schiphol detention centre and met with members of the member of the management team for asylum and protection and caseworkers of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Nadan Petrovic, Panagiotis Nikas, Isotta Ricci Bitti, Alexandra Stiglmayer. Photo: ESI
Nadan Petrovic, Panagiotis Nikas, Isotta Ricci Bitti, Alexandra Stiglmayer. Photo: ESI

A second meeting with officials from the policy department of IND was held in the afternoon at the IND headquarters in The Hague. In the afternoon, Gerald Knaus met the new minister in the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security to present ideas for the Aegean and a post-Dublin system. ESI's Alexandra Stiglmayer and Isotta Ricci Bitti met UNHCR officers to discuss the Dutch asylum system and how to further strengthen refugee status determination procedures and ensure quality decision-making in other countries such as Italy and Greece.

Photo: ESI
Photo: ESI

On 12 December, ESI met with Wil Eikelboom, chairman of the Association of Asylum Lawyers and Jurists of the Netherlands (VAJN) in Amsterdam. Before going back to Berlin and Brussels, ESI also met with the staff of the Dutch Refugee Council, an independent professional organisation that supports asylum seekers and refugees before, during and after the asylum procedures.

Photo: ESI
Photo: ESI
Novosti