Danish politicians could reject more citizenship applications under new proposal

The Local Denmark
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Danish politicians could reject more citizenship applications under new proposal
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Two parties on Denmark’s far right want to change the procedure by which the country rubber-stamps citizenship applications so that some applications are easier to reject. The governing Social Democrats could be open to the idea.


A proposal by the far-right Nye Borgerlige (New Right, NB) party would change the way the Danish parliament processes citizenship applications so that individuals can be more easily rejected, according to a report by newspaper Politiken.

The plan has received the backing of the Danish People’s Party (DF) , the other anti-immigration party on Denmark’s far right. Significantly, it also has signs of support from the governing Social Democrats, the newspaper writes.

Under Danish law, citizenship can only be granted to foreign nationals via legal nationalisation: applications must actually be voted for by a parliamentary majority.

Accepted applications are normally processed via bills put in front of parliament twice yearly, in April and in October.

NB wants to change this practice so that, instead of approving a single bill with hundreds of (pre-approved) citizenship applications, parliament can more easily reject individual claims by splitting them into different bills.

The party wants to discriminate claims based on the nationality of the applicant, according to Politiken’s report.


“We favour, for example, that persons from so-called ‘Menapt’ countries [Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, ed.] be put on a separate bill so they can be voted against,” NB citizenship spokesperson Mette Thiesen told the newspaper.

“We want to be able to vote for the people who really deserve a citizenship, but not those who we absolutely don’t think should have it,” Thiesen added.

People who apply for Danish citizenship must fulfil a series of criteria and pass a citizenship test, and their claims are assessed by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration prior to being sent for the parliamentary bill. As such, the applications that come before parliament have already fulfilled the legal criteria.

Negotiations over potential changes to citizenship rules are ongoing between Danish parties. Earlier this week, the centre-right Liberal party said it wanted assessment of applicants to include a personal interview to determine whether that person has "Danish values".


Thiesen told Politiken that “of course” politicians could sort citizenship applicants based on source country if they so wish.

“We’re the ones giving out citizenship. It’s not a right to get Danish citizenship,” she said.

It should be noted that, even if applications were voted for in different bills, it would still require a parliamentary majority to reject them.

The Danish People’s Party said it backed the idea. The party has previously voted against bills formalising citizenship applications.


“We would actually like to vote yes to many Nordic citizens and people from South Schleswig [German border region, ed.], but because we oppose so many from Middle Eastern and Muslim countries getting citizenship, we vote no to the bills as they are. And thereby end up voting no to some people who we really want to have citizenship, and that situation is a shame,” DF citizenship spokesperson Marie Krarup told Politiken.

The spokesperson for the governing Social Democrats, Lars Aslan Rasmussen, appeared open to the suggestion in a comment given to the newspaper.

“The premise itself, that there are special problems with people from those Menapt countries, we recognise that,” Rasmussen said.


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Anonymous 2021/02/13 10:26
To answer the comment by M (11 Feb). Below is a link to another story in the The Local (Denmark) which gives some indication as to why the politicians want to introduce tougher controls over citizenship applications.<br /><br />
  • Anonymous 2021/03/14 19:21
    Geoff, with all due respect I can understand the reason. I can not understand response. It is adequate if a third grader or uneducated person comes up with such response measures, but not a mature educated European politician. As one smart man said "If you dare to criticize, propose a solution". So here is solution instead. 1) Both Before granting citizenship or even access to country. PET cooperation with CIA, FSB and others. And its not expensive, can come up with the cost equal to 3-4 politicians fired. This way you will have at least 90% security on background of person you accept (both past and future of him/her, relatives, religiousness extent etc.) 2) Change legislation, on extending PET rights to surveillance of religious communities. I.e. field undercover presence in mosques and other religious services to track any extremist motives before they even become a problem. 3) Increase responsibility margins for both participants of religious groups with heavy fines for non reporting (if found/proved guilty) to their families. This falls under judicial concept of criminal inaction (omission). 4) Cultural exchange events for all cultures facilitated by local communes working for everyone, every religion and nation - this facilitates opening/broadening view of those asylum seekers and others from EMENA region. 5) track social development trends over 4-8 years of those seeking citizenship, i.e. if they lived a decent life, paid taxes, received education, helped community etc. If they break or about to break law (as in case above), strip off the citizenship and send back home for sure! Yet again, if we are to go nationalistic way straight forward it is not good neither in short not in long run.
Anonymous 2021/02/11 18:30
Really scary approach! <br /><br />Proposal now is not even to test Danish values, not sort of Canadian grading system where education, experience or recognition are basis for citizenship? Not even combination, where Danish values can grant you even 90% of points and academic degree, experience and job other 10 points and lets say Menapt citizenship deduction of some points, while still leaving chance for people who want to apply.<br /><br />I do understand that they want white people in, yet key risk there is that someone should keenly control those politicians (i.e. supreme court) so Denmark does not end up forcing former Menap and now Danish citizens to wear yellow crescent, than live in certain city blocks with final step of arranging "naturalization" or "value appreciation" camps for people... Remember, German Nazi ideology also started from huge support of local population and seemingly good proposals for German people.<br /><br />Why don't journalists ask those questions of their politicians? Or is it populistic opinion?

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