While Denmark tightens its asylum policy, it opens its doors to foreign workers

Denmark has dropped to being one of the least welcoming EU member states for asylum seekers, while it also issued a record number of work visas to foreign nationals last year

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke

Denmark has gone from being one of the most accommodating EU nations for asylum seekers to one of the least, newly published government figures have revealed.

Data released by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration showed the conservative approach to immigration by the typically left-wing administration led by Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democrats is working, as the country dropped last year to 19th place in the EU in terms of the number of asylum seekers received per capita.

The change is substantial when compared to 2014 when Denmark was the fifth-highest EU member state with regard to welcoming asylum seekers, a position it had held for several years prior.

“In 2014, Denmark was up to 5th place, which is the highest measured position for Denmark. The latest figure for the year 2022 shows that Denmark is now in 19th place,” a statement from the ministry read.

Minister of Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek praised the government’s more conservative approach, insisting it had been vital to ensuring greater integration of newcomers already living in the country.

“I am happy that Denmark is still low on the list. It is good that we have a relatively low influx of asylum seekers because it means that integration efforts can better keep up,” Bek stated.

The Danish minister lamented the exponential rise in new arrivals to Europe being experienced in other member states over the past year, and warned that the “wild figures” are unsustainable and indicative of a European Commission that has lost control over the migrant crisis.

He called on EU leaders to devise a new approach to preventing illegal crossings into the bloc to take back control of an issue that continues to grow more severe by the day.

“Then we can better help more refugees and at the same time gain more control over how many people come to Europe and Denmark,” Bek explained.

“The Danish government is working hard to realize that ambition, and it is my most important goal as a minister,” he added.

Denmark’s decision to tighten its asylum policy has enabled the country to become more liberal in its general approach to immigration. While asylum claims have fallen, the number of work visas issued to foreign nationals has sky-rocketed.

According to the country’s official statistical website, Statistics Denmark, a total of 31,600 foreign nationals were issued a work visa to undertake employment across Denmark last year, a 24 percent rise from the previous year and a 26-year high.

“In the previous ten years, an average of 21,200 people per year immigrated with a residence permit for work,” a statement from Statistics Denmark read.

Romanians represented 19 percent of all foreign nationals acquiring a work visa in Denmark last year. Poles made up 12 percent, while applications from India rose considerably by 73 percent last year.

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