2024 Election

Five Nordic Nations Agree to Collaborate on Shared Deportation Flights


A group of northern European nations has agreed to work together to make expelling migrants with no legal right to stay, saying they will share deportation flights and expertise.

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden announced a new agreement on Tuesday that they were to combine their efforts on removing migrants, saying they would launch joint deportation flights and other initiatives. The agreement came out of a two-day Nordic nations summit in Copenhagen where the group said they had come to a “strong commitment” to strengthen their cooperation on migrant returns.

As well as working together to get illegal migrants out of their nations and back to their countries of origin, the group also said they would launch a join initiative to help migrants who had left their homes and made it as far as North Africa — the embarkation point for dangerous smuggler boats across the Mediterranean to Europe — to go back to their places of origin too. This, the pact says, is a programme of “voluntary repatriation”.

The Danish Immigration and Integration Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek said at the announcement that Nordic nations must stop migrants from “traveling across our countries and going under the radar of the authorities”. He continued: “It is a decisive principle that foreigners without legal residence travel home… we should constantly strive to do better. Both in Denmark, in the other Nordic countries and in the EU. Today’s agreement is a step in the right direction.”

His opposite number from Finland, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said: “This cooperation will be supporting our governmental program because it’s very concentrated on immigration rules and the returns especially, which have been the weak link in our system”.

In the group’s communiqué on the agreement, it was said on flights that they would work towards “joint Nordic return operations in collaboration with Frontex.”

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What this appears to mean in practice, according to media reports from the nations involved, is that if one country in the group has a particularly good relationship with a foreign nation then all the migrants due to be deported there from the five will be sent to that one nation for the flight. An example given is Sweden’s relationship with Afghanistan, meaning it will take the lead on deporting all illegal Afghans from the five-nation group.

As noted in Reuter’s report on the accord, Denmark has been ahead of its Nordic neighbours on migration and deportation policy for years, which has gained it bitter criticism from global bodies and human rights groups, and even from the nations now working with it on immigration issues. The Danish approach has become more popular with its neighbours after the consequences of the migrant crisis became apparent to them, the Wires service noted, citing a speech by the Swedish Prime Minister last month which cited “irresponsible immigration policy” of the last government and “failed integration” of migrants.

Underlining this thaw in attitude towards Denmark’s relatively hardline approach to migration, Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard said this week: “The Swedish government is truly looking at how the Danish government has worked with both fighting organised crime but also on migration issues”.

These sentiments appear to be spreading across Europe, even to the nations that were most aggressively pro-mass migration in the past decade but have not joined the Nordic pact. German government minister Christian Lindner spoke this week of his nation having “made it easy” for those who migrated “illegally to our welfare state to stay” and said he wanted to reform the welfare system to make it less appealing to migrants.

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Deportation is a major issue for Europe as its population rapidly swells with economic migrants and bogus asylum seekers who, after lengthy application and appeal processes, have been proven to have no legal right to remain in Europe. Apart from the economic and social implications of having a large and growing population of illegals with a clear motivation to become involved in the black market to earn money where they have no legal right otherwise to do so, there is also a security dimension, with many of Europe’s terrorist attacks of recent years having been committed by migrants who should have been deported but who were not.

 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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