The Judge has decided that the Citizens committee (Burgercomité) are in the right, but the Central Body for Asylum seekers (the COA – het Centraal Orgaan Asielzoekers) are still allowed to shelter another 700 asylum seekers in Eindhoven.
That was the judgement handed out by the District Court judge in Den Bosch. The Burgercomité took the case to court because they felt they weren’t being listened to by the Eindhoven City Council. They had decided to allow the sheltering of 700 asylum seekers without having heard from the residents. Protests against the Council’s decision didn’t help, according to them.
The judge declared that the Council had been careless in its decision-making process. Prior to the decision to co-operate in the sheltering, there had been no talks with both parties present at the same time and that should have happened.
That it did not happen, claimed the Council in its own defence, was caused by the urgent nature of the appeal from the COA. In addition, there was also the remarks made by State Secretary, Teeven to consider. He had made an urgent plea to the Council Board to act quickly to resolve the matter regarding the sheltering.
The judge cannot understand why the Board was so quick to decide on the request from the COA, without having first discussed it with a community police officer or members of the residents committee, for example.
Nevertheless, the judge determined that the 700 asylum seekers may be sheltered in Eindhoven. He found the importance thereof, greater than the appeals made by the Burgercomité. The legal costs must be paid for by Eindhoven City Council.
According to spokeswoman for the Burgercomité, Anita Hendriks, you can’t be judged in the right in court on the one hand, yet at the same time, the Council is allowed to carry on with its plans anyway.
She is not against the arrival of the asylum seekers itself, but rather, is concerned about the amount concerned. ‘Housing 700 asylum seekers in a building that is only suitable for 120 people is downright inhumane’, she said. The Burgercomité is preparing itself to take further action.
The Eindhoven City Council is satisfied with the judge’s decision. It is always annoying when a decision leads to a lawsuit, said a spokesman to Studio040. But we are happy that we can now start working on sheltering the asylum seekers in the Orangerie.
In the video clip, we hear a number of local residents, COA and City Council representatives putting their arguments forward during an info-session at the Orangerie, which was organised by the Council to inform the residents about the decision. Tensions were high and opinions differ greatly. However, the one thing all parties agree on, is that the Council should have informed everyone involved much earlier. The first group of asylum seekers are expected to arrive within the next few weeks.