In 2015 and 2019, the Danish government introduced a series of legislative amendments that fundamentally changed Danish asylum practice. With these changes in mind, this report observes that residence permits are now granted with a view to refugees returning to their country of origin as soon as possible, rather to promoting their integration and long-term residence. Denmark’s strong focus on the revocation of refugees’ residence permits is unique when compared with other EU countries, and Danish asylum rules provide a significantly lower level of protection for some refugees than the protection generated by asylum rules in other EU member states, writes the report.


In the EU, an area of open borders and freedom of movement, member countries share the same fundamental values and joint approach to guarantee high standards of protection for refugees.

EU countries have a shared responsibility to welcome asylum seekers in a dignified manner, ensuring that they are treated fairly and their case is examined following uniform standards. This ensures that, no matter where an applicant applies, the outcome will be similar. Procedures must be fair, effective throughout the EU, and impervious to abuse.

However, asylum flows are not constant, nor are they evenly distributed across the EU. They have, for example, variated from over 1.8 million in 2015 to around 142,000 in 2019, a decrease of 92%.

With this in mind, since 1999, the EU has established a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). In 2020, the European Commission proposed to reform the system through a comprehensive approach to migration and asylum policy based on three main pillars:


Why does Denmark provide a significantly lower level of protection to some refugees if there's a Common European Asylum System that seeks to make the process of seeking asylum uniform across all EU member countries? Is there something I am missing? The second link suggest there's a common standard that made the process uniform for all EU member countries.

  • The way your question (title and final paragraph) is phrased, it suggests that the CEAS is the reason that Denmark lowered the privileges and protections of asylum grantees. You may wish to reword if that isn't what you are saying.
    – Ben Voigt
    Dec 13, 2023 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


In the Edinburgh Agreement (1992), Denmark secured an opt-out from matters relating to justice and home affairs at the EU level. As a result, Denmark is the only EU member state not bound by the CEAS minimum standards, and can pursue its own asylum policy.

  • 1
    And there is also some popular support for doing just that with moderate right apparently taking up harder right policies to avoid losing votes. Notice the timeline of hard right electoral success - 2015ish- with that of the reforms cited by the OP. Dec 12, 2023 at 16:43
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica there's now increasing support for shutting down asylum applications across the entire Western world. Australia did this a decade ago, other nations will likely follow suit this decade. Dec 13, 2023 at 4:23
  • @JonathanReez Immigration has always been a major issue for over a decade in Europe, caused by excessive immigration from the Middle East and numerous problems with integration of existing Middle Eastern ethnic groups in Europe. It was the cause of Brexit and one of the major platforms the UK conservatives were elected on in 2010. Dec 13, 2023 at 14:08

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