The Latest: Dutch to oblige new migrants to sign plege
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Europe migration issues (all times local):
The Dutch Senate has approved legislation that obliges all new migrants to sign a declaration pledging to respect “the values and rules of Dutch society” as part of a civic integration test to help them gain citizenship or residency.
Minister of Social Affairs Lodwijk Asscher says the declaration is intended to “familiarize newcomers with the unnegotiable rights and obligations and the fundamental values of Dutch society.”
The new law comes amid concerns in the Netherlands about new migrants not adapting to liberal Dutch society.
Municipalities can issue fines of up to 340 euros ($380) to new migrants who refuse to sign the declaration, and deny them a permanent residency permit and citizenship.
Parliament’s upper house approved the law change Tuesday, months after it was passed by a large majority in the lower house.
A Dutch court has rejected an aid organization’s demand that the country’s government house more migrants who are living in camps in Greece and Italy.
The Hague Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision that the government can’t be legally compelled to take in more migrants earmarked for relocation under a European Union agreement dating back to September 2015.
The court said in a statement Tuesday that numbers of migrants agreed to by EU member states in 2015 “are not absolute, but depend on the number of asylum-seekers who are actually selected for relocation.”
The organization that started the legal proceedings said in a statement that fewer migrants than expected are eligible for relocation because EU nations have been slow in making space available and many migrants don’t have faith in the relocation program.
Starbucks has announced plans to hire 2,500 refugees in its European stores by 2022, as part of a global program announced in January.
The Seattle-based coffee house chain said Tuesday that the figure will be part of Starbuck’s commitment to hire 10,000 refugees around the world.
Starbucks said it will work with agencies that aid refugees in eight countries to launch the hirings. They are Britain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.
The Refugee Council, which works for refugee rights in Britain, welcomed the partnership, saying it could “make a positive difference to the lives of refugees.” The council’s head, Maurice Wren, said that “refugees bring an incredible wealth of skills, knowledge and experience which are hugely beneficial to society.”
French authorities say a truck driver was killed in a highway accident prompted by a roadblock installed by migrants trying to board trucks traveling across to Britain.
The administration for the Pas-de-Calais region said in a statement that nine Eritrean migrants have been detained.
It says that migrants placed tree trunks on the A16 highway leading to Calais early Tuesday, forcing three large trucks to stop. It said a smaller truck then crashed into one of those trucks and caught on fire. The driver’s identity is unclear.
Such roadblocks have caused accidents in the past but this is the first time they have been linked to a death, according to an official with the regional administration who was not authorized to be publicly named.