Closure of reception places

Fedasil Elsenborn
The Belgian government has decided to reduce the capacity of the reception network for asylum seekers.

The Fedasil reception network currently accounts for 22,700 places. The occupancy rate is at 74%.

On 24 March 2018, the Belgian federal government decided to reduce the number of places in response to the decrease in asylum seeker arrivals. The plan involves reducing the threshold by 6,454 reception places. This means:

  • the closure of 3,600 places for individual housing organised by the Public Centres for Social Welfare (CPAS/OCMW)
  • the closure of 9 temporary centres (for a total of 2,854 places)

The 9 centres involved had opened in 2015 in response to the dramatic increase in asylum applications in Belgium. The closures are scheduled to take place before the end of 2018.

Decrease in arrivals
After the 2015 influx, Belgium saw an equally dramatic decrease in arrivals. In 2016, the government had already decided on a primary plan to reduce its capacity. More than 13,750 places were closed in 2016-2017, specifically by closing over 30 temporary centres.

The capacity before the crisis
The government intends to return to a 'structural' reception capacity in 2019, going back to the figures before the 2015 crisis (fewer than 17,000 places). Fedasil is tasked with planning and managing the closure of the reception places.