Handshake should be compulsory for citizenship: Danish conservatives

The Conservative and Danish People’s parties say that people awarded citizenship in the Scandinavian country must be required to shake hands.

Handshake should be compulsory for citizenship: Danish conservatives
People at a citizenship ceremony in 2015. Photo: Linda Kastrup/Scanpix 2015

New rules require people who have been awarded Danish citizenship to take part in ceremonies in their local municipalities.

Participants at the ceremonies are required to sign a document promising to respect Danish values.

That must be considered to include shaking the hand of the lord mayors at such ceremonies, MPs from the two conservative parties say.

“We wanted to include a handshake requirement as part of the citizenship document. That ended up as a compromise about acting with respect. That, in our view, means shaking the hand of the lord mayor or other person conducting the ceremony,” the Danish People’s Party’s spokesperson for immigration Martin Henriksen said.

“We expect the government and the Social Democrats to support the Danish People’s Party when it comes to applying this in practice,” Henriksen added.

The coalition government, parliamentary ally the Danish People’s Party (DF) and the Social Democrats all voted in favour of the citizenship bill which introduced the new ceremonies as part of the process of becoming a Danish national.

“(Applicants) must accept the whole package, and that package includes a ceremony at which you make a statement of loyalty and shake hands. We shake hands in Denmark,” said the Conservative Party’s spokesperson Naser Khader.

Khader added that he did envisage this causing problems in practice.

“For some of the people that want citizenship, this means so much that they would give their right arm. I’m sure they’d also give their hand,” he said.

Social Democrat immigration spokesperson Astrid Krag said she also expected handshakes to be returned.

“When a female mayor offers her hand at the ceremony and says ‘congratulations on becoming a citizen’, it is completely natural for the new citizen to return that handshake,” Krag said.

READ ALSO: Woman wins handshake discrimination case in Sweden

For members


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.