Swedish PM positive on Danish offshore asylum plan

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has spoken positively about Denmark’s hopes of setting up an offshore facility outside of the EU, to process people who are seeking asylum.

Denmark has held talks with Rwanda over a number of years about setting up asylum facility in the country. The current Danish government has put plans for a bilateral deal with Rwanda on hold. The hope is to make an EU agreement, that will allow such centers to be established outside of the EU.

The EU has generally shown limited interested in such an agreement. The whole idea has also been criticized by the African Union and the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR. But during an interview with the Danish newspaper Politiken, The Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson was positive towards the idea.

The way we’re heading

“I think it’s obvious that asylum should be tried in a different way than tempting people to go on mortally dangerous journeys to get to the European area and then travel onwards,” he said.

Kristersson recently praised Denmark for pioneering stricter immigration policies after he visited the Danish agency responsible for sending refugees back to their home countries.

Asked directly whether the Danish position on asylum facilities should be broadly adopted, he told Politiken “that’s where we’re heading”.

In the interview, the Swedish PM did not elaborate on a potential timescale and he did not go further into details. He did add that we currently do not have a sustainable European migration policy.

Not just Sweden

In addition to Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria have recently shown interest in an offshore asylum processing center. This is according to Danish news agency Ritzau.

Prior to an EU summit in February, Denmark and Austria, along with six other EU countries, wrote a letter to EU leadership asking for a new approach to reduce migration to the union. The eight countries argued that the current asylum system no longer works. Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta and Slovakia were the other signatories.

The letter did not directly mention the option of an offshore processing system.

Source: thelocal.com

About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

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