17:17 GMT05 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Dutch government wants to conclude agreements within the EU that will enable EU member states to send migrants back to the EU country where they first arrived to discourage them from concentrating in countries with the best asylum conditions, Dutch Minister for Migration Mark Harbers said in an interview released on Friday.

    "An asylum seeker who arrives in Europe should apply for asylum in that country… They often don’t because they want to reach the Netherlands or Sweden… If refugees know this is how Europe works, they will be discouraged from moving on," Harbers told the Volkskrant newspaper.

    According to media reports, the Netherlands has already touched upon the proposal in its talks with some EU partners, and a continuation of this discussion is set to take place in April.

    The Netherlands received a total of 16,785 asylum applications in 2017, according to the Asylum Information Database. The majority of the applicants were from Syria, Eritrea and Morocco.

    READ MORE: German Teen's Murder by Afghan Refugee Highlighted Lack of Police Cooperation

    The European countries have been experiencing an acute migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing violence from their home countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Hundreds of thousands of migrants are trying to reach European countries using various routes, including via Italy, Greece, Turkey and Balkan States.


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    asylum seekers, migration, European Union, Netherlands
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