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Danes more tolerant of migrants than EU

Forget the convention that Danes are xenophobic: They accept asylum seekers and immigrants, demonstrates EU poll

Danes are more open towards integration and asylum than the EU average according to a new poll from the European Commission. Nine out of ten Danish respondents say that member states should offer »protection and asylum to those in need«, second only to Sweden. 64 per cent of people agreed that immigration enriches Denmark economically and socially, 14 percentage points higher than the EU average.

The poll of almost 27,000 people published this month examined European attitudes to asylum seekers, labour migrants, integration and the Schengen zone, all prickly topics for Denmark.

You can see the whole report here as well as the summary of results from Denmark compared to EU averages here.

Contradictions towards migrants

The majority of people were against migration for labour reasons even in areas such as healthcare and new technology, showing people draw a distinction between the two types of immigration.

However just 37 per cent believe that current discussion abut immigration is reliable and fact based.

Notably Danish people seem to hold two contradictory opinions: On the one hand, immigrants have difficulties integrating »largely because they don’t want to«, as three quarters of people agree. Simultaneously a majority believes that immigrants have difficulties integrating »largely because of the discrimination they face« in Denmark.

More information

Other clashes with the European norm can be observed over the Schengen zone. Danes are the least likely out of the whole EU 27 to regard travelling without border controls as important. An opinion which sheds light on Denmark’s controversial border control measures last year.

Denmark was also second from last of those who believe EU financial support for member states is a good way of fighting crime.

Further information on Denmark’s attitude to migration can be found in EU Action on Migratory Pressures – a Strategic Response a document cooked up by the current Danish European presidency in response to migration pressures.

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