By Ebad Ahmed
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AA) - Denmark confirmed Wednesday it paused controversial talks with Rwanda on outsourcing an asylum center as it seeks to implement a plan in cooperation with the EU or other countries.
Denmark’s Social Democratic government introduced a plan that proposed those seeking asylum in Denmark be transferred to reception centers outside the EU during the time their requests were processed.
“We are not holding any negotiations at the moment about the establishment of a Danish reception centre in Rwanda,” Migration and Integration Minister Kaare Dybvad told a media outlet. “This is a new government. We still have the same ambition, but we have a different process. The new government’s programme calls for the establishment of a reception centre outside Europe in cooperation with the EU or other countries.”
The new policy statement is a deviation from the long-held stance of the Social Democrats party which in the past had dismissed the suggestion of implementation of the plan with European partnership.
The controversial plan, however, is not completely off the table as Dybvad maintained: “While the wider approach also makes sense to us, (the change in policy) is precisely because there has been movement on the issue among many European countries.”
“There are many now pushing for a stricter asylum policy in Europe,” he said.
Meanwhile, EU interior ministers are scheduled to meet in Stockholm later this week to discuss asylum reforms in the region.
The ministers are expected to focus on expediting the process of returning undocumented migrants to their home countries after their asylum bid is rejected.