The Cities of Refuge Podcast
S2E4: "A permanent emergency" – Seeking for shelter in Zeeland?
This episode zooms in on developments close to the home base of the Cities of Refuge project in the Dutch province of Zeeland. In recent months newly arrived asylum seekers in the Netherlands have been housed in emergency shelters and even in tents because of an acute shortage of asylum accommodations. The municipalities of Middelburg and Goes in Zeeland were among the first in the Netherlands to offer help to the central government and centralised reception authorities. How did this capacity problem arise? What are the differences between the 2015 crisis of refugee governance and the current situation? Why and how did municipal actors in Middelburg and Goes become involved? Barbara Oomen and Sara Miellet talk to Margo Mulder, the Mayor of Goes, and Harald Bergmann, the Mayor of Middelburg about these questions including late-night phone calls and WhatsApp texts, local political leadership, and accountancy-driven refugee reception. Their discussion highlights how mayors matter for migration governance, innovations in refugee reception, and local perspectives on long-term developments in the Dutch multi-level governance context.
For more information, check out Sara Miellet’s latest open-access article, “Burden, benefit, gift or duty? Dutch mayors’ framing of the multilevel governance of asylum in rural localities and cities in Zeeland”, Territory, Politics, Governance, 1-19.