Denmark wants to send asylum seekers out of Europe

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A law that will give it the right to open centers for the reception of asylum seekers in foreign countries, where they will be sent and will remain until the completion of the processing of their files is expected to be adopted today, Thursday (3/6) the Denmark. The country known for its extremely hard line on immigration is ready for radical change.

A reception center for asylum seekers in Rwanda – or perhaps in Eritrea? There are many scenarios on the table.

The latest innovation of the Social Democrat government of Mete Fredericksen to discourage immigrants from going to the rich Scandinavian country is that, according to the bill, asylum seekers will remain in third countries even if they are granted refugee status.

The draft law, as broadcast by the Athens News Agency, citing Austrian media, is expected to pass the parliamentary stage comfortably, as it is supported by the right and the extreme right, despite the opposition of some factions of the Danish left.

Abolition of Syrian residence permits because areas of their homeland are considered safe now, toughening of the law against “ghettos”, to set a ceiling on the number of “non-western” residents in the neighborhoods, setting an official target to have “zero refugeesIn the country: the center-left government is currently pursuing one of the most restrictive immigration policies in Europe.

Under the new bill, every asylum seeker in Denmark, once his or her details are recorded, and with few exceptions, especially for people with serious illnesses, will be transferred to a reception center outside the EU.

If he does not secure refugee status, the immigrant will be required to leave the host country.

“But the government bill also stipulates that asylum seekers will not be allowed to ‘return’ to Denmark, they will simply have refugee status in a third country,” said Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, an immigration specialist at the University of Copenhagen.

Denmark: The draft law and the procedure

The whole process will be undertaken by third countries, with money to be paid by Denmark.

No country has so far agreed to accept asylum seekers, but Copenhagen says it is in talks with five to ten countries, which it does not name.

The names of countries that “circulate” in the Austrian media are Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia. But it is above all Rwanda – which at one time was intended to receive asylum seekers on behalf of Israel – with which contacts are said to have progressed further.

At the end of April, an agreement on cooperation in the fields of asylum and immigration was signed, in which no reference is made to the assignment of the reception of asylum seekers in the African state.

This system “of course should be created within the framework of international conventions. This is a necessary condition “for an agreement with third countries,” Matthias Tesfage, the Danish Minister for Immigration, who last month defended a plan to send asylum seekers to non-necessarily democracies, told AFP. the meaning we perceive “.

The plan, launched by Mrs Frederiksen, completes the complete transformation of Danish social democracy on the issue of immigration.

Accepting proposals that were once made only by the far right is now widespread in almost the entire political spectrum of the country, notes political scientist Casper Hansen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Five years after the adoption of the controversial law allowing the confiscation of immigrants entering Denmark, the news went around the world but the law was not implemented in practice, the authorities continue the strategy of deterrence.

Only 761 people were granted asylum in 2019 and even fewer, 600 in 2020, compared to more than 10,000 in 2015. In proportion to its population, Denmark receives ten times fewer refugees than its neighbors Germany and Sweden. .

The bill is a “continuation” of a highly “symbolic” policy, “something” a bit like Donald Trump’s wall, “said Tim White, secretary general of the Danish branch of the NGO ActionAid.

The bill has alarmed international organizations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has stated that it “opposes the principles on which international co-operation on refugees is based”.

“By launching such a drastic and restrictive change (…) Denmark risks causing a domino effect” in other words, there are other “countries in Europe and other regions that will also explore possibilities to limit the protection of refugees in their territory” , said the representative of the Commission in the Nordic countries, Henrik Nordentoft.

For Tim White, this is a way for Copenhagen to abdicate its responsibilities to its European partners, at a time when Denmark already enjoys an exemption from cooperation on asylum and immigration issues.

“The refugees will seek asylum in Germany, France, Sweden. This (s.s .: the bill) will not prevent them from crossing the Mediterranean, they will simply not come to Denmark, which in this way will be relieved of its responsibilities in this field “, he estimated speaking to the French Agency.

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