Category Archives: Belgium

Belgium: a nice place to visit, but can you afford to live there?

champagne truffles by LinksmanJD flickrBy Thomas Huddleston, MPG Programme Director on Migration and Integration

A 225€ fee for non-EU citizens’ residence permits would set one of the highest fees in the EU. The median fee in the EU is around 130€. While the Minister referred to France and Netherlands–neighbours with some of the EU’s highest fees–he skipped over neighbours with average fees: Germany (100-135€) and Luxembourg (50€). A 225€ fee could contravene EU law by acting as a disproportionate obstacle for low-income immigrants who meet all the legal requirements for family reunification or long-term residence.
Continue reading


New Belgian Nationality Law: still something to celebrate?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

On 19 July, a proposed new Belgian Nationality law passed the Belgian Parliament’s Justice Committee with a large majority. Naturalisation should be “migration-neutral,” meaning that applicants should be living in Belgium as long-term residents. Also, applicants should already be linguistically, socially, and economically integrated before they apply.On the eve of Belgian’s National Day, is this new proposal something to celebrate? Or will it undermine Belgium’s liberal naturalisation policy and its positive effects on integration?  Continue reading