D.Denmark wants to tighten the restrictive integration policy in the country further. The formation of parallel societies is to be prevented, especially in socially disadvantaged residential areas – the aim is that in ten years no more than 30 percent of residents with “non-western” roots will live in any of these quarters, as the government led by social democrats formulates it.
Political correspondent for Northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.
A statement from the Ministry of the Interior states that if many “non-Western immigrants and their descendants” settle in certain residential areas, the risk that religious and cultural parallel societies will emerge increases. Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek is quoted as saying that people have closed their eyes to developments for too many years and only acted when the integration problems became too great. Now one wants to create more mixed residential areas in the country.
Draft covers 83 residential areas in Denmark
Denmark has repeatedly caused a stir in recent years with its restrictive immigration and integration policies. The government’s proposal on Wednesday is the revision of a bipartisan agreement on the fight against parallel societies that the previous conservative government had passed in 2018 – already supported by the Social Democrats, among others, but also by the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party.
The government wants to hold on to it, but has announced that it must go beyond it. Many residential areas are not covered by the agreement, even though many people live there too without work, with little education or previous convictions, and the proportion of people with a “non-Western” background exceeds 30 percent. These are to be designated as “prevention areas” in the future. A total of 83 residential areas in Denmark would be covered by the revised agreement and a total of 163,000 inhabitants, according to the Danish newspaper “Berlingske”.
In these areas, it is intended to make it more difficult for local authorities to allocate apartments to people who, for example, have a criminal record or who are not citizens of a European country. In addition, others who meet certain criteria in terms of education or employment should be given priority when renting.
The current list of problem areas, previously known as the “ghetto list” in Denmark and revised every December, included 15 residential areas and 25 more were classified as endangered. In future, however, the word “ghetto” is to be deleted from the revised legislation, said Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek. The name is misleading and only casts a shadow on the important work that needs to be done in these residential areas. Bek also said that the government wanted to help the residents of these neighborhoods “and to create equal opportunities for all children, regardless of where they grow up in Denmark”.
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