'My position has grown increasingly difficult': Fedasil director in surprise resignation

'My position has grown increasingly difficult': Fedasil director in surprise resignation
Credit: Belga.

Michael Kegels, the Director of Fedasil, Belgium's federal agency for the reception centre of asylum seekers, has left his post to become the new director of public safety for the city of Antwerp, in a move that has shocked employees of the federal agency.

Le Soir reported on Tuesday that Michael Kegels had left his position as director of Fedasil, which has since been confirmed by Kegels, as well Nicole De Moor, the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration.

Furthermore, the French-language paper is reporting that Kegels' resignation was motivated by the lack of attention paid to the present migrant crises and the absence of concrete solutions to control the influx of asylum seekers.

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He told Le Soir that "in recent years, my position has grown increasingly difficult," which was exacerbated by a difficult period for Fedasil owing to an added number of asylum seekers coming to the country, as a result of the war in Ukraine.

In May of this year, a report by De Standaard revealed that Belgian courts were repeatedly ordering the agency to provide places for asylum seekers. A situation that did not seem to improve by July, when long queues of asylum seekers formed outside of a Brussels reception centre.

Those immediately impacted by Kegels' departure, the Fedasil employees, are claimed to have been taken aback by the news, especially given how well he had relayed their concerns in recent months.

Meanwhile, Nicole De Moor, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, has indicated that an interim director would be selected to succeed Michael Kegels on 1 October, followed by a recruiting process that might last up to a year.

Fedasil and the Secretary of State were both reached for comment, but both declined.


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