Nordic countries agree deal to share deportation flights

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Nordic countries agree deal to share deportation flights
The shared Nordic deportation flights will be organised together with the EU's borders agency Frontex, here pictures patrolling the border in Lithuania. Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP

Nordic migration and justice ministers on Tuesday announced a deal which will see the five countries share flights to return foreigners who have had asylum claims rejected back to their homelands.


Denmark has spearheaded harder lines on migrants in the Nordics and stepped up initiatives to discourage immigration and put roadblocks for the acquisition of Danish nationality. Tuesday's deal followed a two-day meeting with ministers from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark in Copenhagen. 

Denmark's immigration ministry said in a statement that the five countries had agreed to co-operate on joint flights from "a Nordic country to a third country, so that people without legal residence in several of the Nordic countries can depart from one Nordic country to a third country".

This would be done in collaboration with the EU's border surveillance agency, Frontex, the statement said. 

Along with the joint flights, the five countries agreed to increase collaboration between migration attachés responsible for deportation, and also to work jointly on increasing support to migrants before they leave Africa. 

"The attachés will meet regularly and together strengthen co-operation with third countries in order to better carry out returns to the countries in question and provide reintegration support," the statement added.

Thirdly, efforts would be taken to increase support for "stranded irregular migrants in North Africa", including "assisted voluntary return to their own countries."

Harder lines on migration have been adopted across much of the Nordic region in recent years.


Danish immigration and integration minister Kaare Dybvad Bek was quoted saying the countries had "a common interest in ensuring that foreigners without legal residence are sent home."

"We must prevent them from travelling across our countries and slipping under the radar of the authorities," he said.

The meeting was attended by Maria Malmer Stenergard and Kaare Dybvad Bek, the migration minister of Sweden and Denmark respectively, by Emilie Enger Mehl and Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir, the justice ministers of Norway and Iceland, and by Finland's interior minister, Mari Rantanen. 

Denmark's Social Democrat Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has been an advocate of a "zero refugees" objective in the Scandinavian country since she came to power in 2019.

Denmark was also the first country in Europe to withdraw the residence permits of Syrian refugees from the Damascus region in 2020, on the grounds that the situation there was sufficiently safe.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also