Denmark: from integration to repatriation

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Denmark is a small country with a comparatively small immigrant population. Nonetheless, it is an interesting country to study in relation to the labour market integration of refugees.

The Danish labour market is renowned for its unique combination of labour market flexibility and social security, strong collective bargaining and economic competitiveness. Up to now, however, the labour market integration of refugees has not been particularly successful.

Like in other European countries, the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2014 and 2015 led to stricter policies on border control and asylum but also to momentum for reforms of refugee integration and employment policies. Since 2016, integration programmes and employment policies targeted at refugees and family-reunified migrants have been reformed to promote faster labour market integration.

In this chapter, we describe the main changes in Danish integration programmes and employment policies during and after the ‘refugee crisis’ and evaluate their impact. Preliminary evidence suggests that recent reforms have been rather successful at promoting labour market integration among refugees.

However, a recent paradigm shift in refugee policies, from integration to repatriation, threatens to undermine these
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBetwixt and between: Integrating refugees into the EU labour market
EditorsBela Galgoczi
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationBruxelles
PublisherETUI-REHS Research Department
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-2-87452-585-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87452-586-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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