Elevating the voice of internationals: Let’s meet on April 13

I believe that the expat community can gain political influence if there is a commitment. So, let’s test this commitment and have a meeting on April 13 in Copenhagen.

In my last two columns, I have been writing about the lack of political focus on internationals that live in Denmark.

To be honest, that was not my intention when I started to write political columns for The Copenhagen Post. My intention was to write about Danish politics in a matter that expats would find interesting. 

But then I found myself drifting towards a more personal topic: the lives of foreign-born people in Denmark, and the lack of focus on them politically.

This topic has been on my mind for years as I am married to a foreign-born person, and I have a professional background in politics. Therefore, once again, I will devote my column to the issue of internationals not getting enough political attention. 

Let’s put things in perspective: If all foreign-born people in Denmark could vote for the national election, they would amount to approximately 15 percent of the electorates. 

This means that one out of seven people going into a voting booth would have been born outside of Denmark. Obviously, that is a lot of people.

Now, that does not change the fact that many of these people cannot vote. Yet, numbers matter when it comes to getting political attention, and I am sure that the expat community could have an impact by leveraging that attention.

I have worked for many politicians over the years in my previous capacity as a political advisor. My theory is that people in the political system neither know about the numbers of internationals, nor the problems that they struggle with. 

But I do believe there is a good chance that you can enlighten them and engage them in this cause.

So, what should be done? 

In my previous column, I encouraged you to write to me (on LinkedIn) if you want to work for internationals gaining political influence. My mission is to set you up with likeminded people.

This has led to the following: On April 13, there will be an Open House at Christianshavn Beboerhus in Copenhagen to discuss what to do next when it comes to promoting internationals politically. 

We will see what happens here. Perhaps, a new lobbying network for internationals will see daylight after this meeting. Who knows? 

In the end, it all comes down to your commitment.