No longer, it would appear. The Danes are experiencing a slight, although not unimportant, crisis regarding the stringent laws in this country concerning immigration and the reunification of families. The laws have been there for some time and most Danes seem to think some form of control is necessary but the EU is about to wipe that off the board after the EU courts passed judgement on a series of four cases from Ireland. Ireland has similar immigration laws to Denmark with similar demands of would be immigrants. This overruling of the Irish immigration laws may be payback after the Irish “no” vote to the Lisbon Treaty, but it will have far reaching effects, not least in Denmark.
From the Copenhagen Post:
Experts say that EU law overrides the government’s plan to extend the immigration Danish test. The government’s plan to extend the Danish test for immigrants coming to Denmark under the family reunification scheme is thrown into doubt.
The government’s plan to extend the Danish test for immigrants coming to Denmark under the family reunification scheme is thrown into doubt as experts say that EU law will override the need for it.
‘If you use the EU rules, you can dodge the immigration Danish test. All of the strict Danish immigration laws can be shot down and ripped to pieces by the EU court,’ said Peter Starup of the University of Southern Denmark to TV2 news.
Nils Bak of the Immigration Service confirmed that EU rules authorise family reunification regardless of the Danish 24-year rule and other current requirements such as having greater ties to Denmark than to any other country.
The Danish People’s Party has called on the government to act immediately to prevent Danish law from being undermined by EU legislation. “We want the government to close the holes in the immigration law and they should take this all the way to the EU, so this will not reoccur in the future,” said Morten Messerchmidt, the party’s integration spokesman.The Liberal party spokesman, Søren Pind urged the government to investigate if EU legislation overrides Danish immigration policy.
This follows reports that EU regulations on free movement of labour between member states effectively undermine the 24-year rule. Previously, if a Dane married a foreigner and both were not over the age of 24, they were forced to live abroad.
Now it has been reported that if they work for as little as two weeks in another EU country, they can exercise this EU right and bypass the Danish immigration policy.
One of Denmark’s leading authorities on EU law and legal practise, Prof. Hjalte Rasmussen, from Copenhagen University, thinks that now would be a good time to take the battle to the EU courts and the EU commission. “We have reached the point where I would recommend a test case. That is to say, that we have read the judgement of the EU court but will not follow it because it was made in an area beyond the competence of that court.”
Perhaps I should leave the (almost) last word to Minister for Integration, Birthe Rønn Hornbech.
“How long should we put up with the EU judges going off on their own tangent?” she asks.
A long time, I presume. After all, the government of Denmark ratified the Lisbon Treaty without even asking it’s people if they thought it was a good idea or not. Danish law is now secondary to EU law.
It’s a bit late for the same politicians that so willingly and obligingly signed away their national rights to the greater EU to be screaming over sovereignty now, isn’t it?
Too late, it seems, they have realised their mistake. This may all get very interesting in the next few weeks.