Words followed deeds. The Danish authorities have now checked the status of 800 Syrian refugees and 106 protection has already been withdrawn in the last instance. Denmark cannot carry out the deportations because the country has no diplomatic relations with the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad. But the government has already found a solution for this. It locks those who have been rejected in deportation camps for an indefinite period of time. She is also currently negotiating with Kosovo to place deportation detainees in prisons.
The deeds are having an effect. Because of the restrictive migration policy, Syrians are already leaving the country. At least 400 have moved from Denmark to other EU countries in recent years, mostly to Germany. This is the result of research by international media, including “Spiegel”, “Trouw”, “Le Vif”, “Knack”, “Sydsvenskan”, “Rozana” and “EU Observer”, coordinated by the media platform Lighthouse Reports. According to experts, there should be well over 400 refugees in total, as many are not recorded by the statistics.
German authorities no longer classify Denmark as a safe country for Syrians. According to the Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers can only apply for asylum in the EU country they entered – officially – first. However, the Berlin administrative court has already stopped the repatriation of those seeking protection to Denmark. Of the 265 Syrians who, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, have been returned to Denmark since 2019, only 45 have actually been re-housed there.
Denmark’s social democratic government obviously wants to deter migrants from Syria, and it is getting better and better at that. Many do not like that. Europe has launched an undercutting competition in which Denmark has taken a pioneering role, says David Kipp from the Berlin Foundation for Science and Politics. The fact that Denmark also passed a ghetto plan in 2018 that is supposed to reduce the proportion of “non-Western” citizens in city districts to 30 percent is unlikely to have helped the government’s reputation among all human rights organizations and NGOs.
But obviously the voters who have supported this course for years have thanked the government. Denmark’s left “Social Democrats” is one of the few successful social democratic parties in Western Europe.