I see a political path for the expat community

I realized after my latest column that there is a strong will in the expat community to seek political influence. However, you must unite to become one strong political voice for the community.

In my mind, the best political columns are those that address an issue in an analytical matter and preferably based on relevant data. I typically try to practice this myself. However, this time I would like it to be more personal. 

The reason for this is that I was taken by surprise by the response to my last column in The Copenhagen Post

For a couple of years now, I have regularly commentated on politics in Danish media, and occasionally I experience that someone will reach out to me with either a comment or a question. But to be honest, that does not happen very often. 

Not until last month, when I wrote a column in this newspaper.

I shared my observations about expats in Denmark and the lack of political influence that expats have, despite their growing number in our society (people with a foreign nationality amount to almost 650,000 now, out of a population of 6 million). 

Since then, members of the expat community have reached out to me. Largely, they express happiness with their life here, while at the same time not feeling quite equal to Danes. This obviously creates frustration for many as they are subject to a fundamental feeling of being treated differently.

From a Dane’s perspective, this seems paradoxical as our country is generally known for its strong commitment to equality, which permeates almost every other aspect of our society. However, as a person who spent 25 years in Danish politics, I can certainly also recognize this problem.

There is a growing number of expats in our society, and they are crucial to the continued growth of the Danish economy – yet no one in the political realm talks about their needs. 

If expats want to have their voice heard in the public debate and influence the rules they live under, they should mobilize and form a lobby organization or network with likeminded people. This could have an impact.

I would like to contribute to this. After all, I am married to a foreign-born wife, so I feel strongly for the community. But I am also a parent of two younger kids, so I have limited time. What can I do with this in mind?

Well, I have realized the last month that there are people in the community who express a strong desire ‘to do something’ but don’t necessarily know other expats who share that lust. So, as I have become a point of contact for some of them, I would like to use this position to set you up with one another. 

Therefore, this is my call for action: if you want to work for the expat community gaining political influence, you should write to me on LinkedIn

I will then set you up with likeminded people in the expat community who have a similar desire to promote the expat cause, hopefully helping many individual voices to become one strong political voice. 

And then we’ll take it from there.