• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Denmark worried about Sweden's asylum influx

The Local · 11 Sep 2014, 10:27

Published: 11 Sep 2014 10:27 GMT+02:00

As Sweden prepares to go to the polls on Sunday, that country’s immigration and asylum policies are creating debate in Denmark.
 
With Sweden taking in a record number of asylum seekers – 340,000 are expected over the next four years – Danish politicians are warning of the negative impact the influx could have on Denmark. 
 
“The many Syrians who are coming to Sweden as refugees will become Swedish citizens in a matter of a few years. And with the agreements we have among the Nordic nations, there is nothing to stop them from then immediately moving to Denmark – without a Danish residence permit – and receiving welfare benefits from day one. It is a big danger,” Søren Espersen of the Danish People’s Party told Berlingske. 
 
Espersen called on the Danish government to express “Danish concerns about the completely excessive immigration underway in Sweden” to their Swedish colleagues.
 
 
Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup said that Denmark is indeed prepared to act if a stream of new Swedish citizens creates a form of “welfare tourism” in Denmark. 
 
“I think I should be careful about what I, as a member of the Danish government, think about Sweden’s immigration policies, but I will say that the government would never allow something similar to happen here at home,” she told Berlingske. 
 
“It’s not as if the coffers are just sitting wide open for Swedes who come to Denmark and if it appears that it is becoming a type of welfare tourism, we will of course have to talk to the Swedes and find a solution,” Hækkerup added. 
 
 
The Danish stance on Sweden’s immigration approach wasn’t exactly greeted warmly on the other side of the Øresund, where immigration has been a hot issue in the run-up to the elections. 
 
Sweden’s migration minister, Tobias Billström, accused Denmark of not doing its part to accommodate asylum seekers.
 
Story continues below…
“I thought that all members states in the EU had agreed to ensure safety for those who need it. Everyone can see what sort of situation families from Syria and Iraq are fleeing from. Therefore I’d like to see Denmark change its asylum policies and display more solidarity,” he told Berlingske. 
 
“To be honest, I was really puzzled when I saw Hækkerup’s comments warning against the Swedish asylum policies. All EU countries, including Denmark, should take a hard look at the the situation in Syria and Iraq and ask themselves if they can consciously reject asylum seekers from there,” he added. 
 
Denmark accepted 3,889 refugees in 2013 while Sweden opened its doors to more than 28,000. Sweden is expected to take in as many as 100,000 refugees in 2014
 
For much more on the Swedish elections, visit The Local Sweden.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danes: Muslims must speak out against terrorism
Flowers left outside the French embassy in Copenhagen the day after the attack in Nice, France. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix

According to a new survey, 3 in 4 Danes believe that Muslims in Denmark are not doing enough to distance themselves from extremist acts carried out in the name of their religion.

Copenhagen 4th most liveable city in the world
The magazine praised Copenhagen’s bicycle-friendly infrastructure and nightlife. Photo: Roman Board/Flickr

The Danish capital makes a comeback in the British lifestyle magazine Monocle’s Quality of Life Index, where it 'only' came in 10th last year.

Number of Danes joining Isis in decline
Syrian civil defence members evacuate a young man following a reported air strike on the besieged rebel-controlled town of Douma. Abd Doumany/Scanpix

A number of recently published reports from Scandinavian intelligence services suggest that Isis recruitment peaked across Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia in 2013/2014.

Denmark slammed for sending lesbians to Uganda

Denmark’s decision to deny asylum to three lesbians and send them back to their home country of Uganda has been criticized by an LGBT group.

Denmark's heat wave to continue into next week
Take a dip this weekend – you never know what the rest of summer will have in store! Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix

The long-awaited summer warmth that finally returned to Denmark this week will be sticking around for awhile, meteorologists said on Friday.

More work makes you sick: Danish study

A study that followed Danish workers for 12 years found that when companies enjoy an uptick in business, their employees pay for it with their well-being.

Danish women have become more violent
Photo: Colourbox

Danish women are closing the gender gap when it comes to crime.

Photo gallery
Santas spread (summer) Christmas cheer in Denmark
No big deal, just a Santa taking a selfie while on a Copenhagen canal cruise in the middle of the summer. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

More than 100 jolly souls dressed up as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves just left Copenhagen – see all of the bearded action from their visit.

Brawl breaks out between Danish asylum centres
The fight started after a player disputed a foul call. Photo: sunnybright/Iris/Scanpix

Upwards of 100 minor asylum seekers were involved in a brawl described by a witness as a “blood frenzy”.

Five million Danish ID numbers sent to Chinese firm
The CPR numbers and health information of 5.3 million residents was sent to a Chinese company. Photo: Colourbox

If you lived in Denmark between 2010 and 2012, it’s almost certain that your personal identification number (CPR number) and health information ended up in the hands of a Chinese company.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
2,307
jobs available