Denmark’s green party wants smoother path to citizenship

The environmentalist Alternative party says it wants it to be easier for applicants to be granted Danish citizenship, and also believes it should not be possible to revoke citizenship following nationalization.

Denmark’s green party wants smoother path to citizenship
Photo: Kristian Djurhuus / Ritzau Scanpix

Alternative, which has not guaranteed support for either main prime ministerial candidate following next week’s election, announced the policy on Friday as party of three new proposals on the area, Jyllands-Posten reports.

According to the party, citizenship should be qualified for once requirements for permanent residency are also met.

“For us, citizenship is an active part of the integration process. We have, for a long time, believed that it should be easier to become a Danish citizen,” Alternative spokesperson on immigration Caroline Magdalene Maier told Jyllands-Posten.

“Many people say that citizenship is a reward you are given once you have shown you are Danish enough. We are turning this around and saying that citizenship is a vote of confidence we give to the individual.

“We believe it will make people feel more welcome and thereby more willing to be part of society,” Maier continued.

READ ALSO: Applying for Danish citizenship: the process explained

The party’s assertion that it should not be possible for authorities to retract citizenship would also apply to convicted criminals and gang members, the Alternative spokesperson confirmed.

“If you commit crime, you should be punished according to Danish criminal law. We can’t start taking away people’s citizenship,” she said, citing the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, to which Denmark is a signatory, but confirming the policy would also apply “in principle” to dual citizens.

Alternative also wants all children born in Denmark to parents with permanent residency in the country to be given Danish citizenship, regardless of the parents’ nationality.

“It is very strange not to be a Danish citizen if you were born to parents with permanent residency and are set grow up, go to school and have your whole life in Denmark. Why should you not have the same rights as Danish citizens?,” Maier said.

Currently, Danish citizenship can only be granted to foreign nationals via legal nationalization: new citizens must be approved by a parliamentary majority.

Alternative also wants to change this rule so that a simple declaration by individual applicants is enough to confirm nationalization. That appears to be an ambitious goal, given it would require a change to the constitution and not just a bill passed by a parliamentary majority.

“We are aware that we would meet a constitutional challenge [with this proposal], so some of this is probably a long-term thing,” Maier said.

Minister for Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg dismissed the Alternative proposals on citizenship.

“Alternative’s proposals would make it easier to get Danish citizenship almost impossible to throw out the people who don’t behave themselves,” Støjberg told Jyllands-Posten, adding that she considered Danish citizenship a privilege.

“As well as the honour of being able to call oneself Danish, an extended degree of protection also comes with (citizenship). So it is very much something to be strived for and earned,” she said.

READ ALSO: Becoming Danish: What advice would you give about gaining citizenship in Denmark?

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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.