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Sun Jun 9, 2019, 11:20 PM

Denmark's Elections Show How Much Europe's Normalizing Anti-Immigrant Politics (the Center-Left now)


When Mette Frederiksen, leader of Denmark’s Social Democrats, triumphantly took to the stage at her party’s election celebration Wednesday night, she rattled off a list of the policy priorities that had propelled them to victory. Sandwiched between the traditional causes of welfare and climate change was one that was jarring from the mouth of a European center-left politician: cracking down on immigration.

The 41-year-old’s comments underlined the unapologetically hardline anti-immigration stance her party adopted on the campaign trial, cannibalizing the policies of the far-right Danish People’s Party to win back voters anxious about immigration. Their reworked vision of European social democratic politics — asserting the need to clamp down on immigration to protect the cherished welfare state — earned the center-left party 48 seats with 25.9 percent of the vote, positioning it to form the next government.

Denmark’s elections are the latest and most extreme example of liberal parties across Europe adopting anti-immigration policies most often championed by far-right groups. This calculation has allowed the left to weather a populist surge across the continent, but analysts warn that the strategy is short-sighted, and only plays into the far-right’s hands by further mainstreaming their anti-immigration agenda.

“It has important ramifications for the future of left-wing parties elsewhere in Europe,” said Alberto-Horst Neidhardt, a policy analyst at the European Policy Center. “Virtually all left-wing parties, to differing degrees, have been positioning themselves further to the right on immigration policies, but Denmark’s Social Democrats have pushed it even further than anyone else.” The Social Democrats’ hard swing to the right on immigration represents a complete about-face for a party that previously held traditional center-left positions on the issue: welcoming to migrants, pro-multiculturalism, solidarity with refugees.

But that all changed in 2015, when two major events — the sudden arrival of more than one million asylum seekers on the continent, and the dramatic rise of the Danish People’s Party, which finished second in that year’s election — provoked a radical shift in direction, said Lars Koch, policy director for human rights NGO ActionAid Denmark.


Sweden is still the outlier, as it is still much more immigrant/refugee friendly than the rest of the Nordics, (and the EU overall), but even they have started to crack down a bit and concentrate on integration. Denmark is the most extreme in Scandinavia (but nothing like Hungary and Poland, etc), then Finland, then Norway, but even Norway is much closer to Denmark, policy-wise, than it is to Sweden)

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Reply Denmark's Elections Show How Much Europe's Normalizing Anti-Immigrant Politics (the Center-Left now) (Original post)
Celerity Jun 2019 OP
Jake Stern Jun 2019 #1
Hoyt Jun 2019 #2

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Sun Jun 9, 2019, 11:46 PM

1. Questions

Why is it Denmark's responsibility to take in tens of thousands of migrants?

Migrants who demand the host nation accommodate their cultural practices (such as by removing pork from school menus, allowing the full face niqab, etc) yet steadfastly refuse to reciprocate by integrating into the host nation's culture.

Why is it Denmark's responsibility to change for them and not the other way around?

Maybe Danes would like preserve DANISH CULTURE. What a strange concept, huh?

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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 12:05 AM

2. Many European countries are not into diversity, and a bit too Nationistic. That's a shame.

They have other qualities, but diversity ain’t one of them. From that perspective, trump and his supporters would be right at home.

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