• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Denmark to voluntarily take 1,000 EU refugees

AFP/The Local · 17 Sep 2015, 15:22

Published: 17 Sep 2015 09:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Sep 2015 15:22 GMT+02:00

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said at a Thursday morning press conference that although Denmark refuses to be a part of an obligatory redistribution of some 160,000 refugees, it will voluntarily accept a small number. 
 
Støjberg announced that Denmark will offer to accept 1,000 refugees if Europe can reach agreement on the resettlement plan championed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week. 
 
“In light of the extraordinary situation, we have informed parliament’s parties that the government will offer to take a limited amount of asylum seekers. It is an amount of 1,000 people. I will take that message to my colleagues when we meet again for negotiations on Tuesday,” the integration minister said. 
 
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg and PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen at Thursday's press conference. Photo: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Scanpix
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg and PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen at Thursday's press conference. Photo: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Scanpix 
 
The government said it has yet to decide the period of time over which the refugees will be accepted and Støjberg added that the offer is contingent on a European agreement to the resettlement plan and the support of the Danish parliament. 
 
The anti-immigrant Danish People's Party (DF), on which the Venstre government normally depends to pass legislation, said it would not back the move. Even without DF, the government has enough backing among other parties to get the move passed in parliament. 
 
At the Thursday press conference, the Danish leaders made it clear that they would not have their asylum policies dictated by Brussels. 
 
“Denmark will not participate in an obligatory quota system on the distribution of refugees,” the PM said. 
 
Denmark has an opt-out from Europe's immigration policy and Rasmussen stressed that there is no support within parliament for going along with the EU quota plan. 
 
"A good solution should bring the influx under control so that there is more room for integrating the refugees who come here," he said.
 
In addition to offering to accept 1,000 additional refugees, Rasmussen also announced that Denmark will contribute 100 million euro (750 million kroner) to joint European solutions to the current refugee crisis. The PM said that 250 million kroner would go to immediate humanitarian aid in the areas bordering conflict zones, while the remaining 500 million would be earmarked for joint European initiatives including the EU's Frontex border agency.
 
The PM also announced that the government will introduce programmes aimed at strengthening the integration of those refugees and asylum seekers already in Denmark.
 
“Regardless of what one might think about the government’s immigration policies, there are refugees in Denmark and more refugees are coming. We as a society have a responsibility for them […] and a responsibility to ensure that we do not make the same historical mistakes as before,” Rasmussen said. 
Story continues below…
 
The PM, who just months ago campaigned on ensuring "an immediate halt" to "the massive influx" of asylum seekers in Denmark, denied that he has shifted course. 
 
"It is my responsibility to use the tragic situation to find a solution that is in Denmark's interest. That requires that Europe comes up with a shared solution," he said. 
 
Rasmussen met with European Council President Donald Tusk later on Thursday and Tusk tweeted that he welcomed the Danish PM's proposal:
 

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

AFP/The Local (news.denmark@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Expats: Denmark 'world's worst' for making friends
68 percent of expats in Denmark said they had difficulty making local friends. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

UPDATED: Denmark is one of the hardest countries to settle in to as a foreigners, according to a new survey.

Despite arrest, new car fires in Copenhagen
Police have not made an arrest for the two new fires. Photo: Colourbox

Total number of burnt vehicles is now over 25.

Danish women-led mosque makes Scandinavian history
The decision to bar men from the prayers drew criticism from some quarters. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Copenhagen's Mariam Mosque's first Friday prayers kick off the 'Islamic feminist' project.

Danish politicians cleared on charge of housing migrants
Maria Sloth (right) and Anne Hegelund hug a supporter before their court appearance earlier this month. Photo: Axel Schutt/Scanpix

The women had been charged with violating immigration laws by giving two African men a place to stay for the night.

Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Jesper Rønow Simonsen was at the helm as Skat was defrauded for billions and forced to scrap its debt collection system. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

The director general of Skat has been removed from his job with immediate effect as the agency tries to clean up at least a 12 billion kroner mess.

Danish city’s proposed burqa ban fails
The politician who proposed the ban said he had heard from many concerned residents. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

A proposal to bar public workers from wearing burqas and niqabs was dropped after a deadlocked vote.

Denmark offers help to earthquake-hit Italy
A firefighter works in the night at a collapsed house following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy. Photo: STEFANO RELLANDINI/Scanpix

The Danish government is willing to assist Italy in the rescue and reconstruction process as the country attempts to recover from Wednesday's deadly earthquake.

21-year-old man arrested for Copenhagen car fires
At least 22 cars and three mopeds were burnt. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

Amager resident arrested after more than 20 cars were torched over the weekend.

Denmark aims for ‘first smoke-free generation'
Photo: Kyrre Lien/Scanpix

The Danish government on Wednesday released the details of what it called a “historic" plan to combat cancer.

Denmark takes small step towards medicinal cannabis
A cannabis plant. Photo: Coleen Whitfield/Flickr

A trial programme gets the okay in southern Denmark.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
2,213
jobs available