Sunday 6/20/21
REFUGEES

Denmark to set up asylum centres outside of Europe

So far, Denmark has discussed the issue with Rwanda, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt.
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Photo: Thierry Roge/dpa.
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Thierry Roge/dpa/File photo.

The Danish parliament on Thursday passed a law enabling the country to set up asylum centres in countries outside of Europe, according to news agency Ritzau.

Migrants applying for asylum in Denmark can be flown to other countries where they are to await the result of their application, according to the legislation.

The bill was introduced by the ruling Social Democrats and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and also received support from the liberal Venstre party during the vote.

So far, Denmark has discussed the issue with Rwanda, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt, the Jyllands Posten daily reported.

However, there have been no concrete plans for the construction of such reception centres yet. Contracts with other countries have to be approved by parliament.

Migrants who are granted asylum will not necessarily be able to travel to Denmark afterwards, however. Instead, they are to stay in the country where they submitted the application or to be transferred to an UN refugee camp.

UN criticized the plans

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR had previously criticized the Danish plans.

"Transferring the asylum process and protection of refugees to another country outside Europe is not a responsible and sustainable solution - and would also contradict the principles on which international refugee cooperation is based," said Henrik Nordentoft, UNHCR representative for the Nordic and Baltic states.

He also feared that the plans could produce a domino effect.

A European Commission spokesperson also expressed doubt about the plan's compliance with EU and international rules.

"External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection," spokesperson Adalbert Jahnz told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

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