The Danish government has revealed a new scheme to counteract the rise of “parallel societies” by putting a 30% cap on the non-western migrant makeup of every neighbourhood in the country.
Interior minister Kaare Dybvad Bek justified the plans, saying that an area densely populated with non-western migrants “increases the risk of an emergence of religious and cultural parallel societies”.
The ambitious plan hopes to see a western majority in every neighbourhood in the next ten years, aiding the process of racial and cultural integration.
Such a move is all the more fascinating because it’s coming from a centre-left Social Democrat government, which has emerged in recent years as one of the most hardline immigration-skeptical administrations in Europe.
Earlier this month, the government declared it safe for refugees to return to Syria, stripping 94 migrants of their temporary resident permits. Complications in interstate relations may make it difficult to ship them back home, but many now face the prospect of being hauled off to a Danish migrant camp to await deportation.
A recent opinion piece for Politico suggests that the increasingly tough line taken by the Social Democrats is a response to intense pressure from the Danish People’s Party, which “has never been part of a government” but which only uses its electoral mandate “for a single purpose: They only vote for bills concerning other issues if they get restrictions on foreigners in return.”
The Danish government is also looking to erase the use of the term “ghetto” in legislation, with Dybvad saying that it “contributes to eclipsing the large amount of work that needs doing in these neighbourhoods”.
It’s previously been used to single out areas with a high proportion of migrant residents and at least two other social maladies – including joblessness, low levels of education, high rates of crime, and poverty.
Fifteen neighbourhoods have thus far been designated ghettos and another twenty-five have been identified as being at risk of slipping into the status.