How can people in Denmark offer Ukrainian refugees a place to stay?

Denmark’s local authorities are working to provide accommodation for Ukrainian refugees who are expected to arrive in the country.

People demonstrate in support of Ukraine in Copenhagen
Western countries have placed economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. How will they impact Austria? Photo: Thomas Sjørup/Ritzau Scanpix

As well as making arrangements to accommodate refugees from Ukraine, many municipalities have provided contact information for residents who want to offer a place to stay in their own homes for refugees.

Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th, the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) wrote to the country’s 98 municipalities asking them to report back as to the extent to which they’d be able to take in refugees.

Many municipalities now have some level of provision in place having had some time to make arrangements.

Information can be found on municipality websites in many cases, and the local authorities can also be contacted directly by phone or email.

It should be noted that Ukrainian nationals are allowed to stay in Denmark for up to 90 days without a visa under existing immigration rules. Residence and work permit rules for Ukrainians are expected to change once a special law for Ukrainians displaced by the war has been passed by parliament.

READ ALSO: Danish government and industry agree on deal for Ukrainian work permits

Aabenraa Municipality, which is located close to the German border, said as early as February 28th that it would use a former care home as a temporary place of accommodation for refugees from Ukraine.

The facility, which has also been used as an asylum facility, has 17 separate apartments with their own bathroom and kitchen facilities and can house families.

The South Jutland municipality later stated it had set up a special email address for residents or businesses who wished to offer their assistance to refugees, including accommodation.

“We are experiencing a large demand from residents, associations and businesses who are ready to help in this unhappy situation. It is particularly offers to make homes or buildings available for Ukrainian refugees we receive,” a municipality official said in a March 1st press statement.

“For most of these requests, however, we are not the right authority. With the email address [email protected], we can collate questions and help to send the person who is asking to the right authority,” they said.

Other municipalities have similar arrangements in place whereby people interested in offering a space in their homes to refugees from Ukraine can contact their local authority.

Copenhagen Municipality has a page on its website dedicated to the Ukraine war, on which it says relevant links and information will be added on an ongoing basis.

That page does not, at the time of writing, include specific information regarding offering Ukrainians a place to stay at private homes, but the municipality in the capital has set up a hotline for questions related to the arrival of Ukrainian refugees – 33 66 30 12 – and an email address, [email protected].

In second city Aarhus, a similar information and resources page includes a direct link to a registration page (in Danish) on which Aarhus residents can let the municipality know they are interested in offering accommodation. The registration form asks for information on the type of home or accommodation being offered.

Odense Municipality meanwhile asks residents who wish to make a home available for Ukrainian refugees to contact them via 51 71 15 35 or [email protected].

“We will note your inquiry and you will be contacted if there is a need to make use of your home,” the municipality writes.

It’s not just the biggest cities or border areas providing this type of information.

Vejle Municipality, for example, states that it has “211 more or less ‘ready-to-move-in’ places for Ukrainian refugees”.

If you want to offer a place to stay – or you know Ukrainians who need a place to stay – in Vejle, you can contact the municipality on [email protected].

“We will contact you if there is any need for accommodation in private homes in Vejle Municipality,” the local authority states.

In general, residents in all Danish municipalities wishing to offer accommodation to Ukrainians can start by checking the website of their local municipality for information, and can also contact them directly with any inquiries.

READ ALSO: How can people in Denmark help Ukraine?

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UPDATED: Denmark’s government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Denmark’s government has said it will support Ukraine’s bid for EU membership after the European Commission deemed the country’s candidacy viable.

UPDATED: Denmark's government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Ukraine’s bid to be part of the EU got a majority backing in Danish Parliament on Friday after the European Commission backed the bid.

“It is really, really important that Europe opens the door for Ukraine, so that we can get started to ensure that Ukraine can be ready for EU membership,” foreign affairs spokesperson Michael Aastrup told newswire Ritzau.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Twitter that Denmark was looking forward to continuing cooperation with Ukraine on reforms.

The possibility for Ukraine to become part of the EU is conditional on Ukraine implementing reforms – on rule of law, oligarchs, human rights and tackling corruption – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday. She added that “good work has been done.”

Candidacy status is a significant step to joining the EU but the whole process can take years.

“When a candidate’s status is granted, it is not the same as Ukraine being ready to join the EU. There are a large number of criteria to be met and there are a large number of outstanding ones that Ukraine lacks. These are some of the things that are being addressed”, Michael Aastrup said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will attend a meeting in Brussels next week where the recommendation from the European Commission will be voted and signed off by the EU’s 27 member states. France, Germany and Italy have also already backed Ukraine’s bid but the decision has to be unanimous.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that status as a candidate for EU membership is vital to his country, while the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the question could be decisive in the war to defend Ukraine from invasion by Russia.

READ MORE: Number of Ukrainian refugees working in Denmark triples in one month