Restrict immigration from low-trust societies, to maintain trust and ward off the far right: Denmark aims for zero asylum seekers

Restrict immigration from low-trust societies, to maintain trust and ward off the far right: Denmark aims for zero asylum seekers. By Rakib Ehsan.

Last week, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that she had set a “zero asylum seekers” goal for her administration in the name of social cohesion, stating:

“We must make sure that not too many people come to our country, otherwise our social cohesion cannot exist. It is already under threat.”

Only 1,547 people have applied for asylum in Denmark 2020 — the lowest number since 1998. This figure is far lower than the total recorded in 2015, when 21,316 people applied for asylum in the Scandinavian nation at the peak of the European migration crisis. …

Frederiksen, who has been leader of the Social Democrats since 2015 and Denmark’s Prime Minister since 2019, is not one to mince her words. Under her leadership, the Danish Social Democrats have sought to cultivate a shared national identity based on common purpose and mutual obligations.

Frederiksen has now hammered home her belief that Denmark has historically made too few demands of newcomers to integrate into mainstream Danish life, respect the country’s legal system, and commit to the equality of the sexes.

The Danish premier is firmly of the view that in order to maintain the bonds of social trust and mutual respect needed to sustain Denmark’s comprehensive welfare state, and neutralise the electoral threat of the populist Right, a ‘restrictionist’ approach to immigration and asylum policy is required. A failure to do so will not only undermine forms of mutuality and reciprocity, but also opens up fertile ground for Right-wing populists — including the national-conservative Danish People’s Party (DPP).

Denmark often leads the West. The Danes are quicker to learn from empirical evidence and less ideological.