• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Denmark set to roll out stricter asylum laws
Although an agreement is yet to be finalized, there will be new stricter asylum policies implemented. Photo: Asger Ladefoged/Scanpix

Denmark set to roll out stricter asylum laws

Christopher Manion · 7 Dec 2015, 17:03

Published: 07 Dec 2015 17:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Dec 2015 17:03 GMT+01:00

The ruling Venstre government reached an agreement with support parties the Conservatives and Liberal Alliance, along with primary opposition party Social Democrats, on a set of new stricter policies for asylum seekers arriving in Denmark. The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF) refused to fully back the deal after its push for the creation of so-called refugee villages was rejected.

The new restrictions will be put before parliament in the coming days, with a majority already secured for many of the 21 initiatives that will be put forward. The package is a continuation of the 34 planned changes the government announced in mid-November. The first 13 of those were pushed through parliament in a fast-track manoeuvre criticized by legal experts and human rights organizations.

See also: Here are Denmark's planned asylum changes

DF’s desire to create refugee villages was a sticking point in the government's attempts to secure a wide-reaching agreement on the package. DF has argued that refugees should be kept in self-contained villages with an outlook to send them back to their home countries as soon as possible. 

"Fundamentally, we actually don't think we should integrate this large group of people, but rather that they should go back home and help build their countries up," DF spokesman Peter Skaarup told broadcaster DR. 
 
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg told Ritzau that there are a number of problems with DF's suggestion.
 

"How should we provide education to the children? What about Danish courses for adults? What about health and getting into the labour market? We need to look into all of those things first," she said.

“We have offered to investigate these possibilities, but that was not enough, especially not for the Danish People's Party,” she continued.

Although DF wanted to go further, Støjberg insisted that the points already agreed upon will represent a significant additional tightening of Denmark's asylum and immigration policy.

"There is consensus on a number of points, which means that we will have the tightest asylum policy in comparison to the countries around us," she told Ritzau.

The measures that have been agreed upon by the majority parties include, among other things, that the wait for refugees to bring their families should increase from the current one year to three should wait for three years for family reunification from a year today and that the length of residence permits should be shortened. 

See also: Denmark to erect tents, shorten refugee permits

UN convention refugees will see their permits shortened from the current five years to three, while the residence permits for refugees granted regular protection status will drop from five years to two. 

Those on the previously-introduced temporary residence scheme will still be granted one year permits but will only be able to renew them for one year at a time instead of the current two years. 
 
DF called for all refugees to be given just one-year permits "regardless of status", a suggestion that Venstre spokesman Marcus Knuth told Politiko on Sunday he "didn't see a problem following".

The plan also calls for requiring refugees to pay for as much of their accommodation in Denmark as possible and will further decrease the benefits offered to asylum seekers and refugees. 

Story continues below…

Støjberg acknowledged that the new measures will push the limits of international rules for asylum and immigration, but defended the package as necessary for Denmark.

"We have gone to the edge of the conventions, and it is true that there is a procedural risk in relation to the issue of family reunification, but it's a risk I'm willing to take," she said speaking to Ritzau.

The new proposals have been met with fierce criticism from the Danish Refugee Council.

"I have never before heard of such brief general residence permits to refugees. It is new, both in Denmark and in the rest of Europe," spokeswoman Eva Singer told Politiko. 

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

Christopher Manion (cmanion@hotmail.co.uk)

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