He would not comment on criticisms by some organisations of the methods allegedly used by the Croatian border police in turning back migrants.
It would be easy for me as a Danish politician to sit here and criticise the situation in another EU member state that first deals with the problem, Stoklund said, noting that his country assists EU member states facing attempts at illegal immigration.
The Social Democrat member of the Danish parliament defended Denmark’s strict immigration and integration policy, saying that the Danish approach is increasingly accepted in the European Union.
Denmark has adopted a very clear strategy to avoid taking in refugees from the Middle East and African countries every year. We are witnessing a culture clash in many areas, notably in attitude towards work, universal freedoms and how children should be raised, Stoklund said.
Denmark has a reputation as one of the happiest countries in the world, but in recent years it has attracted attention with its “zero refugees” strategy.
Stoklund said that the long-term aim of the laws passed this year is to reduce the number of applications for asylum in Denmark to zero.
Danish media have said that the government is negotiating this with Egypt, Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Two years ago, only 2,716 people applied for asylum in Denmark, eight times less than in 2015.
Although this initiative is gaining support in Denmark, it is giving rise to concern in the international community, with the UNHCR saying that it is against the international principles of cooperation on refugees.
Stoklund expects this policy to discourage refugees from heading to Europe. He said that the money that would be saved on support to immigrants who are not entitled to political asylum would be spent on development projects in their countries of origin.
Stoklund expressed satisfaction that a majority of EU member states follow the same principle as Denmark – refugees should be assisted in the adjacent countries where they are currently staying before they set out to Europe.
At the last European Council meeting we were very happy to see that none of the European countries wanted to send a signal to refugees from Afghanistan to come to Europe. The countries have realised that the situation like the one in 2015 is untenable, the Danish MP said.
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