Public thinks non-Western immigrants can become Danish

The debate about who is Danish, and who is not, hotted up recently in Parliament. However, the public seem to feel differently to politicians

Earlier this year, a statement to Parliament appeared to cast doubt on whether immigrants from non-Western countries could ever become Danish.

The text read, in part: “Danes should not be in a minority in neighbourhoods in Denmark.”

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However, if you ask the man on the street, a large majority believe that most immigrants and their descendants from non-Western countries can become Danes, Metroxpress reports.

Out of the 1,500 people who were asked, 75.4 percent answered yes. There were 17.9 percent who said no and 6.7 percent ‘don’t knows’. It should be mentioned, however, that the people surveyed were not given a definition of the term ‘Dane’ in this context.

Language is paramount
Christian Albrekt Larsen, professor of political science at Aalborg University, has written a book on the national expectations of the Danes. He agrees with the majority findings of the survey.

He also adds that “Danes place a lot of emphasis on language, followed by respect for Danish law and the idea of feeling Danish.”

A second chance
Today sees a new debate on this issue in Parliament, requested by Enhedslisten, Radikale and Alternativet.

Sofie Carsten Nielsen of Radikale hopes that Parliament will adopt a new text. According to her, there is a very simple definition covering the criterion for being considered Danish.

“You have to feel Danish. That was Grundtvig’s standpoint,” Nielsen said.