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European Commission concerned as Denmark passes new law to deport asylum seekers to non-EU states for processing

European Commission concerned as Denmark passes new law to deport asylum seekers to non-EU states for processing
The European Commission has said it has “fundamental concerns” about a new Danish law, passed on Thursday, which will allow the state to deport asylum seekers to non-EU countries for processing.

Speaking on Thursday, the spokesman for the European Commission, Adalbert Jahnz, said Denmark’s new law was not possible under existing EU rules on migration and asylum, adding that the right to claim asylum was a fundamental one within the bloc. 

“External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection,” he stated. Denmark’s parliament passed a new bill that allows the state to deport migrants to non-EU countries while their asylum cases are reviewed. MPs voted for the bill by 70 votes to 24. 

The project, proposed by the Social Democrat-led government, will look for partner nations to run asylum camps in their own countries. In practice, the new law means an asylum seeker would need to submit their application at the Danish border before being transported to a third-party nation. If their application is successful, they will then be allowed to return and live in Denmark. 

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If their application is not successful, the migrant may be granted asylum in the third-party state where he or she has been during the processing, according to migration expert Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, who spoke to AFP.

No country has cooperated with Denmark on the project but the government says it’s in talks with five to 10 nations who may host such camps. One of the nations is believed to be Rwanda. 

Denmark has attracted increasing attention for its hardline policies on migrants, including its decision to revoke the residence permits of Syrians living in Denmark after deeming it safe for asylum seekers to return to parts of Syria.

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