International relations

In situations in which foreign nationals who do not have a right of residence in the Netherlands, or who no longer have such a right, and who do not cooperate in their departure, the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) depends on the cooperation of the country of origin. The DT&V therefore maintains close contacts with the (immigration) authorities of the countries of origin and their diplomatic representations in the Netherlands.

The DT&V prefers to lay down agreements made with countries of origin in order to shape the cooperation in the best possible way and as clearly as possible for all parties involved. This can be done in the following ways:

  • by making working agreements between diplomatic or, as the case may be, consular representations in the Netherlands and the DT&V;
  • by drawing up a Memorandum of Understanding between the DT&V and the (immigration) authorities;
  • by concluding Re-admission Agreements with countries. The Netherlands does not conclude these bilaterally, but as part of the Benelux. Re-admission Agreements are also concluded by the European Commission on behalf of the Member States.

Repatriation in Dutch foreign policy

The Netherlands and consequently the DT&V attaches great importance to the cooperation of the authorities of the country of origin. In recent years the various cabinets therefore took steps to integrate repatriation policy further in Dutch foreign policy. In various cases, the Netherlands will value (parts of the) bilateral relationship on the degree of cooperation in (forced) repatriation.

Repatriation has become a governmentwide affair as a result of this approach. This means that various files can be deployed, such as development aid. The Ministry of Justice and Security develops and coordinates the use of this new approach in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has a special responsibility in this connection.