Denmark already has a very strict migration policy, but the country has now decided to tighten it even further. A new law passed on Thursday threatens to further fragment the EU’s asylum policy.
Denmark passed a law on Thursday that makes it possible to process asylum applications outside Europe. In concrete terms, this means that the Scandinavian country will be able to transfer refugees arriving on its territory to asylum centers in the so-called ‘partner countries’. There his case will be further investigated.
The measure is intended to discourage asylum seekers from trying their luck in Denmark.
Rasmus Stoklund, a spokesman for migration to the ruling Social Democratic Party, told Danish: “Anyone who applies for asylum in Denmark knows that you will be deported to a country outside Europe, so we expect people to come to Denmark.” Will stop applying for asylum.” Public broadcaster Denmark Radio (DR).
EU countries had already discussed setting up such external centers between 2016 and 2018. But the idea was abandoned due to legal, humanitarian, political, security and financial concerns. The United Kingdom also considered building an asylum center on the Atlantic Island Ascension, but that project also failed.
So far there is no agreement on which partner countries will be affected. Conversations are going on. Denmark will help its partners manage camps and fund agencies along migration routes.
Rwanda seems to be one of the likely candidates. Danish Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye, whose father was an Ethiopian immigrant, had already visited Rwanda in April. A visit that led to the signing of diplomatic agreements on asylum and political issues.
Denmark, along with Austria, also pledged support to a UN-run refugee camp in Rwanda, set up to receive refugees stranded in Libya.
Denmark’s decision is another blow to European plans for a less fragmented migration policy. For example, the European Commission questions the law’s compatibility with Denmark’s international obligations.
“The external processing of asylum applications raises fundamental questions about both access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection,” said commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz. “This is not possible under existing EU rules or proposals for a new agreement on migration and asylum.”
“irresponsible and worthless”
NGOs committed to refugees fear that the policy will put refugees at risk.
“The idea of outsourcing responsibility to process asylum applications is both irresponsible and pointless,” Charlotte Slant, secretary general of the Danish Refugee Council, told Reuters.
“Such practices undermine, demonize and punish the rights of people seeking protection and security and can put their lives at risk,” said Gillian Triggs, deputy high commissioner for the UN refugee agency.