Downsizing the reception network

The number of asylum seekers in Belgium greatly decreased last year. Fewer asylum seekers arrive in the reception network organised by Fedasil and its partners. Thus, Fedasil has decided to gradually reduce the number of reception places.

In the first half-year of 2013, 8,245 asylum applications were submitted in Belgium, i.e. a 24.9% decline compared to 2012. This confirms the continuing downward trend already visible in 2012.Although Fedasil was at the heart of an asylum crisis less than two years ago, the change in the situation can be explained by the acceleration in the processing of asylum applications and the dissuasion campaigns carried out in some countries of origin. Therefore, the fall in the number of arrivals is combined with a reduction in the length of stay in the reception network.The number of reception places reducedThe reception network for asylum seekers in Belgium still offered 24,000 places at the end of 2012, spread between 60 reception centres (Fedasil or Red Cross) and a large number of individual housing managed by municipalities or NGOs. Since 2012, more than 2,000 reception places have been closed, mainly emergency reception centres created during the reception crisis.One of Fedasil's permanent centres, the one in Stoumont, also closed recently. Furthermore, during 2013, about 1,200 places are going to disappear in individual reception (organised by municipalities and NGOs).By the end of 2013, the aim is to have a reduced reception network better suited to the current needs of asylum seekers, but also to maintain a certain number of places in reserve. Thus, Fedasil and the Belgian government will no longer be obliged to open emergency centres in the event of a mass arrival of asylum seekers.