Zonka has returned from vacation in order to cover the current political and constitutional crisis taking place in Denmark. He has been hard at work translating articles and editorials into English for the benefit of interested parties outside of Denmark.
Editorial: The Forbidden Debate
What exactly should they have been asking? How should the question to the voters have been framed?
It is a natural and close counter-question, when we ask why the Danish immigration policy has never been subjected to a referendum — why the public have never been asked their opinion about the immigration policy.
The answer is quite simple: One could have put the whole text of the foreigners law to a referendum: Yes or no!
There is hardly any doubt that the foreigners law would have been accepted with overwhelming majority, if it had been put to a referendum in 1983, and if the population had had to vote according to the information available at the time and the feelings emanating from the political establishment.
However, part of a referendum is a prior debate, and such a debate requires real information. This real information the population didn’t have. It was more or less suppressed by gun-shy politicians. A critical opinion to immigration was forbidden speech.
Any critical remark was immediately shot down by verbal machine gun salvos, where the projectiles were the bad words racism, discrimination, xenophobia, immigration-hostility and such.
The few politicians and other in the debate who warned, were immediately demonized, marginalized and if possible ridiculed.
The law was accepted. The population wasn’t asked.
As the catastrophe took shape, more — but still few — politicians raised the issue. The mayors in the most affected municipalities warned, but were ignored or met with the now obligatory invective.
Read the rest of the editorial over at Zonka’s blog.
Open conflict between Denmark and EU
By Nina Hjerpset-Østlie, 2008.07.31
The ECJ activities undermine the broad political and public supported Danish immigration law. Neither the government coalition, Venstre (V), Danish People’s Party (DPP) and the Conservative (C), nor the opposition party the Social-Democrats (S) have any intention of accepting the ECJ’s judicial attempt to dictate Danish immigration policy. Now the Danish government — with support from the opposition — gives notice that a showdown against the increasingly more political and activist line of the jurists of the ECJ is underway — to ensure that the individual countries immigration policies remain a democratic and national issue.
All of Denmark’s requirements for family reunions are voided according to several ECJ rulings. The court further makes clear that the 24-year rule, the attachment requirement, the self-support requirement and the Banquer’s Guarantee is subordinate to EU’s free movement rules.
- Spouse or children who want to be united should previously have had permanent residence in another EU country. This requirement is void after the ECJ ruling in the Metock case.
- The Danish citizen should previously have had work or be self-employed during the stay in another EU country. This requirement is now limited to a few weeks of work [In some interpretations being actively job-seeking for a couple of weeks is sufficient. — ed.]
- The Danish citizen should be self-sufficient, when returning to Denmark. This requirement was voided by the ECJ Eind ruling in December 2007.
- The EU rules also allow family reunions regardless of the Danish restrictions such as the 24-year requirement, association requirement, hosing requirements, special self-sufficiency requirements, demands of Banker’s guarantees and the so-called cousin-rules.
Danish lawyers have already been put to work to investigate how Denmark can remain in control of the immigration policy that has been in effect since 2001. A majority of Danish politicians intends to fight to keep the right of forming and executing a sovereign immigration policy in the hands of the Danish parliament (Folketinget), without being overruled by non-elected lawyers in the EU bureaucracy.
Once again, read the rest of the translation at Zonka’s place.