The largest party in the country is looking at a different way to process asylum seekers
The largest party in the country is looking at a different way to process asylum seekers

The proposal comes from a document released on Monday. The Social Democrats want to limit the number of asylum seekers from Africa in particular.

Denmark's Social Democrats, the largest party in the Folketinget (parliament), announced Monday that it wanted to place a limit on the number of asylum seekers coming into the country.

"We want to reform our asylum system, among other things, by setting up reception centers outside of Europe, and in the future it will not be possible for refugees to obtain asylum in Denmark outside quotas set by the United Nations," said Social Democrats leader Mette Frederiksen in a 44-page document, according to news agency, AFP.

The document primarily focused on asylum seekers coming from Africa. It is being proposed that Denmark set up a reception center in a country outside Europe (likely in northern Africa) where asylum seekers can apply for international protection. Even if an asylum seeker's case is accepted, the person requesting asylum will not be immediately resettled to Denmark. They would have to stay in the country where the application was being processed, although Denmark would cover the asylum seeker's costs while under the UN Refugee Agency's (UNHCR) care. Asylum seekers would no longer be able to make a "spontaneous" asylum application in Denmark, if the proposal were to go ahead.

Out of space

Frederiksen said the Scandinavian country could no longer be so accommodating to foreigners. Denmark brought in nearly 30,000 migrants and refugees between 2015 and 2016. Since then, however, Denmark has closed its border with Germany and introduced tougher asylum conditions. Iraqis, Somalis and Afghans have a particularly difficult time being granted asylum in Denmark. The number of asylum applications in Denmark fell to 3,500 in 2017.

"The population in Denmark has changed rapidly in a short time. In 1980, 1 percent of the Danish population was not of Western origin, today it is 8 percent," said Frederiksen in the document.

Opposition unhappy

Other parties in the left-wing opposition were not impressed with the Social Democrats' proposal. Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen of the socialist and green party, Red-Green Alliance, raised several questions about the document in a Facebook post. The Danish Social Liberal party said the proposal was "unrealistic."

The Danish People's Party (PPD) is Denmark's second-largest party, and is part of the majority center-right government. It has a staunch anti-immigration stance that has influenced much of the federal government.


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