In the Netherlands, the Eritrean community – and particularly Eritrean migrants – has received considerable attention in the media. This has led to a series of parliamentary questions and resolutions.
Last year, the majority of the Dutch parliament adopted a resolution in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs was asked to research the Recovery and Rehabilitation Tax on members of the Eritrean diaspora in Europe (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2016).
In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned the Amsterdam-based research bureau DSP-groep to conduct a study on the levying and collection of the tax in seven European countries.
The purpose of this research was to understand the nature and the extent of the levying and collection of the 2% Tax by the Eritrean Government on Eritreans living in various European countries.
One of the outcomes of this research is that:
the 2% Tax is perceived as mandatory by Eritreans in the diaspora and that non-compliance may result in a range of consequences, such as denial of consular services and punishment by association of relatives in Eritrea, including rights violations. It also found that the tax is potentially illegal in its application in practice, as it is, inter alia, collected using coercion and intimidation.
Ministers Koenders (Foreign Affairs) and Asscher (Social Affairs and Employment) presented the report to the Dutch House of representatives.