Copenhagen to build temporary ‘village’ for Ukrainian refugees

Copenhagen Municipality expects to install a large number of modular buildings to provide housing and social facilities for 330 Ukrainian refugees.

amager copenhagen
A 2014 photo showing a view of Amager near Copenhagen. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The temporary Ukrainian neighbourhood could remain in place for up to three years, media TV2 Lorry reports.

Its proposed location is on the island of Amager south of the city near the Amager Strandvej road, in an area currently used for storage of lost goods and city inventory.

As well as housing, the temporary modular buildings will also be used as public spaces and childcare institutions.

Copenhagen City Council politicians will this week decide whether the municipality will spend up to 71 million kroner on renting and installing the modules, which could be ready by July, according to the report, which is based on an agenda for an upcoming meeting of City representatives.

44 million of the expected costs are covered by a “fund for unforeseen building expenses,” TV2 Lorry writes.

The local media reports that the plan has majority backing in the municipal committees at which the proposal will be raised and voted on.

“We are in a very special situation in which we will get many displaced people in Copenhagen who will need a roof over their heads. These are modules which are also used for schools and (childcare) institutions and this is a sensible solution – all things considered,” the head of the city council’s employment and integration committee, Jens-Kristian Lütken, told TV2 Lorry.

Copenhagen Municipality could receive around 10,000-11,000 Ukrainian refugees. The government last week said it was preparing to receive over 100,000 refugees from Ukraine nationally, five times more than an earlier estimate.

READ ALSO: Denmark considers ‘fast-track’ system for Ukrainians with job offers

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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