Dutch immigration plan worries Brussels

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EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström says she is concerned about Dutch plans to tighten EU rules on asylum requests and migration.

She told Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad on Tuesday that the European Commission has begun a dialogue with the right-wing government. Ms Malmström, who was on a visit to the Netherlands, is convinced that existing regulations "offer some scope" to improve the handling of social problems relating to integration.

The Dutch government wants to limit immigration aimed at family reunification, where immigrants are joined by family members who had stayed behind in the home country. The proposed changes, inspired by the anti-Islam, pro-government Freedom Party, require changes in EU rules.

Commissioner Malmström points out that the Netherlands is the only country which is insisting on such changes. "I'm aware it is a major issue in the Netherlands. That's not what I hear in other member states."

(rk/imm)

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