News item | 18-05-2022 | 10:15
On Accountability Day, the cabinet provides insight into what our tax money has been spent on. Last year, the Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV) invested most of its money in the themes of organized and subversive crime, access to justice and migration and asylum. These are and will remain the challenges for JenV to maintain a properly functioning rule of law. Below we tell you where the money went.
Organized and subversive crime
Tackling serious crime takes a long time. In 2021, a broad offensive was launched to reduce organized crime. An additional €141 million was made available for this. Of this, €41 million has been invested in monitoring and protecting people who serve the rule of law and face threats and intimidation through this work. For example, crime fighters, journalists, lawyers, politicians and judges. And €73 million in building up the so-called Multidisciplinary Intervention Team (MIT). MIT brings together information to expose criminal networks and their money flows.
In addition, almost € 7 million was invested in drug checks in the port of Rotterdam and Schiphol airport. That money has been invested in, among other things:
- smart technology;
- tackling drug extractors from containers;
- better security;
- more supervision;
- increasing the alertness of personnel to, for example, strange movements in and around the (air)port.
Finally, there was €15 million for a local and regional approach. This money is used to map out what is going on locally in terms of organized crime and its subversive effects. And how this can best be tackled.
Access to justice
Going to court is not always the right solution to a problem. Sometimes it works better to solve problems through, for example, mediation. For example, in the event of a divorce or imminent dismissal. Or is, in addition to legal advice, also financial, medical or social support required?
To help people find a suitable solution to a problem faster and easier, for example, the online service of the Legal Counter has been improved. New to this was, for example, digital assistant Julo, who gives people advice on legal questions. The Loket has also recently started a pilot on video calling. Especially for people with vulnerable health or at a greater distance from a Counter, there is still the possibility to have personal contact.
Pilots have also been started in 2021 in nine municipalities to investigate in daily practice what more intensive cooperation between the social and legal domain will lead to better solutions for litigants. A total of 34 pilots are underway in the legal aid system renewal programme.
The cabinet also made preparations for better compensation for social lawyers and mediators. These came into effect on 1 January 2022. The cabinet is making €154 million available annually for this. The social lawyers and mediators receive higher fees, so that they are more in line with the actual time spent on the legal assistance provided in complex cases.
Migration and Asylum
In 2021, research was carried out into possible improvements in the migrant’s path through the asylum chain. € 1.3 billion was spent on the asylum chain last year. For example, the task force IND, with which backlogs in asylum applications were made up, will be completed in 2021.
A backlog was also made up in the search for housing for people who have received a residence permit. This is necessary to make room for asylum seekers in reception locations.
In addition, various measures have been implemented aimed at making the asylum chain more flexible. For example, the national government implemented the new identification and registration process and the General Asylum Procedure was given a more flexible form. This year too, the necessary challenges ensured that it was unabatedly busy in the asylum reception. A lot of work has been done to ensure sufficient reception places and fast, careful asylum procedures.