Minister’s ‘troubling’ citizenship plan slammed

Integration Minister Inger Støjberg wants her proposed changes to citizenship requirements to apply to all unprocessed citizenship applications that have been filed within the past 14 months.

Minister's 'troubling' citizenship plan slammed
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/ Scanpix
The Danish government wants to make it harder to become a Danish citizen and if Inger Støjberg gets her way, the tougher requirements will not only apply to future applicants but to all of those who have applied to become a Dane over the past 14 months, Information newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Støjberg’s proposal, if approved by parliament, would retroactively apply new criteria to those who have already qualified under the old rules – a situation that Eva Ersbøll, a citizenship expert at the Institute for Human Rights, called “deeply troubling and extremely worrying”.
Ersbøll said that applicants have already completed required tests and paid a significant amount of money to apply for citizenship. 
“The applicants have done that based on their assessment that they could live up to the existing rules. Among the applicants, there will be some that cannot live up to the new rules […] In relation to basic rights, it is very problematic that one can just suddenly change the rules for them,” she told Information. 
Even within Støjberg’s own Venstre party, she was heavily criticized for wanting to apply rules retroactively. 
“It is the state’s role to send a signal of trust and credibility […] I’m not saying [the proposal] is illegal, I’m saying it is obscene,” Venstre politician Kåre Traberg Smidt told Politiko. 
Støjberg has argued that because “Danish citizenship is something very special”, the government wants to “make it significantly harder to get Danish citizenship”.
Her proposal for new citizenship requirements calls alls for increasing the demands for financial self-reliance, making it more difficult to obtain citizenship for applicants with a criminal record and introducing a harder citizenship exam (indfødsretsprøve). The full details can be read here
Støjberg has already lost one battle over applying new rules to previous applicants. Earlier this month, she suggested that parliament’s Naturalization Committee should reconsider the applications of hundreds of people who are due to receive citizenship next month through a disposition to the regular requirements. 
That suggestion was met with heavy resistance and was ultimately killed by the libertarian Liberal Alliance, who refused to support it. 
Many foreigners have expressed concern that the new government will also attempt to roll back dual citizenship, which became official on September 1st after years of lobbying. However, Culture Minister Bertel Haarder (Venstre) told a roomful of dual citizenship supporters that the new law “has come to stay”.

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QUIZ: Can you pass the 2022 Danish citizenship test?

If you want to become a Danish citizen, you'll have to prove your knowledge of the country's culture, history, politics and more by passing a citizenship test. Can you pass our quiz version?

QUIZ: Can you pass the 2022 Danish citizenship test?

A condition of getting Danish citizenship is to demonstrate knowledge of Danish society, culture and history by passing a citizenship test (indfødsretsprøve).

In April 2021, the previous version of the citizenship test, which consisted of 40 multiple choice questions, was supplemented with five extra questions about “Danish values” such as equality, freedom of speech and the relation between legislation and religion. 

The pass mark is 36/45 and at least four of the five Danish values questions must be answered correctly. 

Children under 12, Swedish and Norwegian citizens, and people from the Danish minority in German region Schleswig-Holstein do not need to take the citizenship test.

READ ALSO: How do Denmark’s citizenship rules compare to Sweden and Norway?

While there are 45 questions (and they’re in Danish) in the real test, we’ve compiled 15 for you to have a go at answering. They are all based on the actual test from November 2022.

The pass mark on the real test is 36/45, with at least 4 of the 5 “values” questions (the last 5 questions in the test) correctly answered. In our version, the last 3 questions are taken from the Danish values section of the real test.

The 45 questions in the real citizenship test cover a broader range of topics and styles than those covered here, so please don’t take our quiz as any certain measure of your ability to pass the real thing.