Summary: Peaks and Troughs

Summary of the advisory report on a sustainable system for the reception of asylum seekers and the housing and integration of asylum residence permit holders.

From 2014 onwards – in 2015 and early 2016 in particular – several of the EU Member States, the Netherlands included, were faced with a substantial increase in the number of asylum seekers. In order to keep the number of asylum seekers at a manageable level, various measures were implemented in a short period of time, many of which were ad-hoc. In the Netherlands, the existing reception system turned out to lack sufficient flexibility to be able to quickly place all asylum seekers in regular reception centres.


  1. a) Acknowledge, and communicate at the political level, that the nature and size of the influx of asylum seekers is, as a rule, subject to fluctuation;
    b) In developing a sustainable vision for the reception of asylum seekers, the housing and integration of asylum residence permit holders and the return policy (and the way this policy is to be implemented), take into account the lessons that can be learned from the way that previous peaks and troughs in the number of asylum seekers have been handled at the political/administrative level;
    c) In developing this sustainable vision, and the policy adjustments required, the shared social and individual interest should be the guiding principle. This means limiting the duration of reception and providing intensive, future-oriented (meaning aimed at integration or return to the country of origin) supervision and support to asylum seekers at, and during their stay in, the reception facilities.
  2. Ensure that high-quality, unambiguous and current facts and figures, including analysis of this data, is publicly available on an ongoing basis. Establish who is responsible for producing, updating and communicating which types of information.
  3. Ensure coordination between the various ministries involved about the development of the number of asylum seekers, and the implications of this for the activities of those organisations responsible for providing housing to asylum residence permit holders and promoting their integration in a broad sense, including during periods in which the number of asylum seekers is relatively low.


For more information contact Sander Vergeer or Sonja Avontuur