Dutch Language Blog

Refugees in the Netherlands Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in News

If you follow the news in Europe, I am sure you have read about the recent vluchtelingen crisis. Thousands of people from Syria, Somalia, Libya and other war-torn areas are daring the dangerous journey to Europe in the hopes to escape the crisis back home. The obstacles the vluchtelingen must overcome before even making to any European country are life-threatning. But why are they running away?

The majority of the vluchtelingen entering Europe are coming from Syria and they are fleeing the war between the Syrian government, rebel groups and IS. The majority of those leaving Syria are being held in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. These camps are not sufficiently equipped for the high numbers of people, and many of the refugees do not receive enough food or appropriate shelter.

The rest of the displaced Syrian people, together with people from other war-torn countries, are seeking asylum in Europe. While Italy, Greece and Spain are receiving large numbers of asielzoekers because of their geographic location, many of them are trying to get to Germany. In the news, there are many videos and images of large groups of people walking and boarding trains.

According to the EU regulations, asielzoekers must apply for asylum on the first country they arrive to. However, those countries are not only facing large amounts of applicants, but are also the countries with the weakest economies in the union. The EU has been debating as to how to deal with the vluchtelingen crisis.

This topic has been and continues to be a very delicate one. One topic for debate is the number of asielzoekers that each country must take. Some countries, like Germany, the Netherlands, France and Great Britain, have pledged to take in more asielzoekers within the next two years. Other countries have decided to close their borders or only accept applicants based on their religious beliefs. The idea of distributing all asielzoekers among the EU countries has been mentioned, but there is no consensus in Brussels for this.

Another concern is economic. Many people in Europe, including the Dutch, are concerned with the economic strain of providing for the asielzoekers. Each country has their own aid plan for the asielzoekers and there seems to be no agreement in Brussels for a uniform EU aid plan. Many organizations have collected donations in order to alleviate the burden, and many people volunteer at refugee-centers. There are several organizations that provide asielzoekers with language classes, aid in finding employment, translation of documents and more. This week, the Dutch parliament has been discussing the possibility of reducing some of the benefits given to asielzoekers.

There are many other concerns and each concern brings a new debate and differing opinions. The truth is that many vluchtelingen are arriving in Europe and each country will be faced with the task of deciding how to react and help while maintaining the unity of the EU. This is no easy feat for Europe.

I kindly invite our viewers to express their opinions about the vluchtelingen crisis in the most respectful manner. All opinions are welcome so long as these are not offensive.

Related vocabulary

de vluchteling- refugee
de asielzoeker- refugee
de asielzoekerscentra- refugee centers
het compromis- compromise
de oplossing- solution
opvangen- to take in
eenheid- unity
de beslissing- decision
de mogelijkheden- possibilities
verplicht- mandatory
het quotum- quota
de lidstaten- member states/countries

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!