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Immigration Revolution: Danish Law and the Externalisation of Borders

Externalisation of Borders in Immigration: Analysis of Danish Law

The externalisation of borders in the field of immigration is a crucial issue addressed by the recent Danish Immigration Border Externalisation Act (L 226), passed by the Danish Parliament on 03 June 2021. This law introduced the possibility of opening asylum centres outside Europe, where asylum seekers awaiting procedures could stay during the process. In this article, we will examine the impact and possible implications of this law, as well as consider alternative routes such as the integration route.


The law, presented by Social Democrat Premier Mette Frederiksen, aims to relocate asylum application procedures to third countries in exchange for financial support (Art. 29). It emphasises the granting of refugee status only to those who meet the criteria, guaranteeing protection in the partner country. However, challenges concern the selection of third countries and the monitoring of human rights in implementation.

The Danish law arose in a context where there is a growing desire to find sustainable solutions to the challenges of immigration. However, the population has expressed concerns and the law has provoked mixed reactions. While the Minister of Migration Affairs, Mattia Tesfaye, supports the initiative, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees criticises the approach. The European Commission also questions the compatibility of the law with European immigration and asylum law.

This article highlights the need to consider alternative routes in the law. Instead of emphasising the long and dangerous journey of migrants, we could focus on training and integration funding in the countries of origin. For example, with this law we could prepare new foreign nationals for the values and norms of the host country, ensuring a solid basis for successful integration.

For a more balanced management of immigration, we could examine shared migration policy platforms. These agreements could bring the EU closer to the countries of origin, promoting international cooperation. However, it is crucial to avoid the illusion of a one-size-fits-all solution and to consider the complexities and nuances of migration dynamics.

The Danish Border Outsourcing Immigration Act raises important immigration issues. To address them, we need to balance relocation of procedures and integration pathways, seeking to optimise migration management through internal migration policies and collaborative platforms.

Gauguin's Angel allegorically struggling in the externalisation of borders
"Vision after the Sermon", Paul Gauguin, 1888, National Gallery of Scotland di Edimburgo

The landscape and the fight exist only in the imagination of the people praying after the sermon, which is why there is a contrast between the real people and the fight in the imaginary and disproportionate landscape.

If you are familiar with the significance of Gaugin's work and what he emphasised, and are interested in learning more, albeit not exhaustively yet, but rather succinctly about the Danish law on the externalisation of borders on immigration, I invite you to continue reading by clicking below.

Di Pier Paolo Piscopo



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