Belgium tells migrants: Accept local values or leave the country

By THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION
April 1, 2016 21:45
1 minute read.

Non-EU migrants wishing to live in Belgium will have to sign a statement declaring their acceptance of local values or see their residency claim rejected, a government official said, in a move campaigners fear will fuel anti-immigrant sentiment.

Parliament is expected to pass the proposal to introduce a "newcomers statement" in the next few months, according to a spokesman for Belgium's secretary of state for asylum and migration, Theo Francken, who drafted the plan.

People moving to Belgium for more than three months would have to sign the statement which includes a pledge to prevent and report any attempts to commit "acts of terrorism."

The statement would not apply to asylum seekers and students, the spokesman said.

"(Many people) are coming (to Belgium) from countries with other values," Francken's spokesman Laurent Mutambayi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone from Brussels.

"If they want to build their life here in Europe (we have) no problem with that but they have to sign this statement that they accept our values," he added.

Mutambayi said those who are not deemed to be integrating sufficiently will not be allowed to stay in the country.


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