Saturday

20th Apr 2019

Rasmussen defends Danish immigration rules against EU law

Danish leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said Copenhagen will not change the country's strict limits on migrants.

"Denmark's immigration policy is not going to change; the voters need to know that the law holds,'' Mr Rasmussen told voters in a speech on Tuesday night (26 August) in his constituency of Greve, Bloomberg reported.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

He was reacting to a debate sparked in his country by a recent verdict by the EU's top court in Luxembourg that struck down Irish restrictions on the residency of foreign spouses of EU citizens. The Irish restrictions were similar to rules that are applied in Denmark.

Mr Rasmussen argued that his government would press EU institutions and other member states to prevent any changes to the Danish immigration legislation as a result of the court's ruling.

"We're trying to change the set of rules inside the EU so that we can get things as we want them,'' Mr Rasmussen added.

The differences between Danish law and EU rules mainly involve the ban for citizens under 24 years old to bring their non-EU spouses into the country - viewed as a way to prevent Danish Muslims from bringing their partners through arranged marriage.

Similarly, such mixed couples who have lived in other EU member states are not allowed to come and live in Denmark, a practice in breach of the bloc's freedom of movement principle.

The Danish parliament's ombudsman earlier in the summer announced an investigation into whether the Danish Immigration Service had misinformed individuals inquiring about regulations on the settling of foreign spouses in Denmark.

France as the current holder of EU's six-month rotating presidency is planning to push for a detailed debate on the common immigration rules for the 27-strong union, with a ministerial session on the issue expected in October.

More deaths at sea south of Malta

Paris is pressing for a so-called European Pact on Immigration and Asylum - an agreement setting out common EU guidelines for how to handle increasing numbers of migrants wanting to make their home in Europe.

In many cases, immigrants' struggle to plant their feet on the European soil has had terrible consequences: more than 70 individuals from Sudan and Eritrea, including a child and four pregnant women, are feared to have died in the waters south of Malta, the country's authorities reported on Thursday (28 August).

Earlier this week, a group of migrants detained at the southern Spanish port of Malaga spoke of having thrown overboard the bodies of 25 of their companions as their overcrowded boat drifted for days in the Mediterranean, according to media reports.

Prison suicide rates in France highest in Europe

Suicide rates per 10,000 inmates in 2017 in France stood at 12.6, higher than any other European country. The latest figures are part of a much bigger report out Tuesday by the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us