The number of reception centres that the COA needs, depends on the number of asylum seekers that we receive. This number is not constant. The opening and closing of reception centres is therefore an inevitable and recurrent part of our work.
Opening, closing or expanding?
On the basis of a prognosis of the inflow and outflow of asylum seekers, the COA periodically makes a plan: should we open, close or expand? In addition, we check the available capacity each month in relation to the need for reception places. This way we can respond quickly if necessary.
Reception capacity in 2018
The COA takes measures again to balance the available reception capacity with the expected inflow and outflow of asylum seekers. The total capacity will be reduced from over 31,000 to 27,000 available reception places by the end of 2018, including 5,000 spare places. The COA will close 11 locations; 51 reception locations remain open.
Principles for the choice of location
The COA bases the choice of location on a number of principles that have been drawn up in consultation with the relevant partners. Proportionate spreading of locations across the country is important to ensure that the asylum process runs smoothly. Spreading also promotes integration. In addition, flexibility is also important to be able to quickly scale up and down the reception capacity in times of higher inflow. Other starting points are quality, sustainability and finances. The COA periodically reviews the occupancy development. This offers the opportunity to make timely adjustments.
Municipality as an important partner
The municipality is an important partner for opening or closing a reception centre. Together we make agreements about the number of reception places, how long the reception centre remains, the organisation of the centre, financing, consultation structure and education for the asylum seekers’ children.
In addition, the municipality is a partner in reception of the status holders. Refugees who receive a residence status are entitled to a home of their own. The municipality has an important task to provide this home.
Moving the residents
Closing or opening reception centres means that the residents have to move. It is a major event. We thereby apply the following principles:
- Movements take place as much as possible within the same region
- Relocation of families with school-age children takes place as much as possible during the school holidays
- Medical and psychosocial circumstances of the residents are taken into account as much as possible
- Prevent as much as possible that asylum seekers have to move several times within a short period of time
The COA is striving to develop its locations in a sustainable manner. Locations that cannot be developed sustainably will be given up sooner than the sustainably developed locations.
The demand for reception of asylum seekers can vary greatly. An acute demand for more beds can arise. The COA therefore strives to always have more reception places in stock than strictly necessary: spare capacity.