Annex B. Allocation of competences across levels of government related to migrant and refugee reception and integration

Policy area

National government



Asylum seekers and refugees

- Initial reception until status recognition via the Central Organ for Asylum Seekers (COA), which manages Dutch asylum seeker centres (AZCs)

- Asylum application assessment and status recognition

- Provision of allowance during asylum claim assessment (EUR 58/week)

- Early integration package for recognised refugees (121 hours of Dutch classes and cultural background as well as coaching sessions)

- Support for unaccompanied minors claiming asylum until 18 years old

- Provision of emergency shelter in co-operation with the COA

- Establishment of regular AZCs in co-operation with the COA

- Early integration opportunities such as studying, work or volunteer opportunities

- Long-term integration: provide recognised refugees with housing and support for settling in

- Responsibility for unaccompanied minors more than 18 years old

- Organising language and integration courses for refugees in schools


- Produce legislation (Leerplichtwet)

- Establishment and maintenance of primary and secondary education

-Subsidize expenses of private primary schools in their areas

- Supervision/ implementation of the Education Act (Leerplichtwet)

Language learning

- Set the conditions to pass the civic integration exam

- Organisation of courses to pass the civic integration exam (Educational Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs)

- Provide migrants and refugees with grants for language classes

- Provides additional courses to the groups who don’t have to pass the Civic Integration Exam

Vocational training policy

- Establishment and maintenance of schools

- Adult education (programming and financing)

Social policy

- The national unemployment agency (UWV) sets the criteria for the allocation of social welfare

- Social assistance: social welfare, welfare payments, social services administration

– Elderly and child care

– Social integration of people with disabilities

– Social integration of foreigners

- Youth policy: financing youth organisations; youth and child protection; youth probation and youth care

-Youth assistance and welfare services


- The UWV allocates unemployment benefits and other reintegration measures through regional labour market offices (central government agencies)

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment organises roundtables with relevant stakeholders to set guidelines on key employment issues concerning migrant integration (e.g. youth, discrimination)

- Functional regional boards for employment services

- In charge of dialogue for co-operation between the public authorities and business

- Local social assistance and employment schemes

– Local measures for access to and participation in the labour market

– Back to work programme: reintegration into the labour market, including for young disabled (tasks decentralised in the 2015 reform – cf. Participation Act)

– Training and encouraging entrepreneurship (e.g. Eigen Werk)


- Provides funding for building social housing but is accessible through sometimes very restrictive tenders

- Allocation of quota (social housing) and municipal subsidies

- Building and management of social housing and municipal land, in collaboration with housing associations (six in the city of Amsterdam)

Spatial planning

- Drawing up regional plans

– Endorsement of municipal land-use plans

- Drawing up land-use plans

- Planning permissions

- Urban planning, development and regeneration

Public health

- Responsible for regional healthcare services (a central government agency)

- Public health and hygiene department (GGD)

- Municipal medical services (e.g. vaccination, disease prevention)

– Elderly and youth healthcare

– Long-term care

Public administration

- Supervision of municipal finance and regional water authorities

- Administrative services (marriage, birth, etc.)

Public order and Safety

- Responsible for public defence and justice

- Regional police services

- Public order in the municipality and relationships with police forces

– Crime prevention

– Public safety

Economic development

- National economic development

- Regional economic development

– Agriculture and rural development

Partnership between public authorities and businesses

– Regional marketing to attract business

– Stimulation of entrepreneurship

– Local economic development

Source: Findings from OECD mission to Amsterdam (21-23 February 2017) and OECD (2014), OECD Territorial Reviews: Netherlands 2014,