The Baltic Region

2022 Vol. 14 №2

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Immigration policy and integration of migrants in the Kingdom of Denmark at the beginning of the XXI century



Denmark upholds high standards of human rights as long as the interests of its citizens are concerned but erects barriers for migrants of a different cultural background who might threaten the security of the national community. The Danish tradition of liberalism, humanism and the welfare state coexists with one of Europe’s most restrictive policies towards third-country immigrants. The article traces the evolution of management approaches to developing the immigration policy and integrating foreign cultural migrants in Denmark. It describes the value determinants of these changes. Using the neo-institutional methodology, the authors analyse the evolution of the value determinants of Denmark’s immigration policy and look at the national norms and practices of integrating migrants from a different cultural background. A restrictive immigration policy became possible due to a consensus between the main political forces, the left Social Democratic Party and the right Liberal Party Venstre, both willing to keep in check electoral support for the radical right-wing parties (the effect of ‘contagion from the right’ in Maurice Duverger’s terms). The object of Denmark’s restrictive integration policy is migrants from a different cultural background (mainly from Muslim countries). The government takes systematic measures to restrict their access to the country. As to migrant integration, the focus has shifted to ‘hard’ assimilation of civiс democratic values, benefits linked to employment, and deportation of migrants who have committed crimes.


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