New Danish government could relax family reunification rules

Denmark’s incoming government could break with years of strict immigration laws by easing family reunification rules.

New Danish government could relax family reunification rules
Denmark's strict family reunification rules could be eased by the new government. Photo: Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash

According to the platform for the new government, which was presented on Wednesday, family reunification rules could be eased.

Rules for family reunification have often been criticised by Denmark’s national media, with a long series of individual cases reported, highlighting the harsh impact of the rules on the lives of individual couples.

Ostensibly intended to restrict immigration from Middle Eastern countries, the rules also frequently impact the ability of non-EU nationals from other parts of the world, and even Danes themselves, to establish a family life in Denmark.


Specifically, the new government wants to change language criteria applied in family reunification cases.

It also wants to halve the so-called “bank guarantee” (bankgaranti), a requirement which demands couples deposit a large sum of money with municipalities while the foreign partner is granted residence under family reunification rules.

It is currently unclear how an adjustment of the language rules will take form, with discussions only having a general nature so far.

The Social Democrats, Liberals and Moderates on Wednesday presented their joint platform for going into coalition government together after weeks of talks.

The current family reunification rules have been in place since 2018, when they were passed by the centre-right government led by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who is now set to return to government as the leader of the Moderate party.

READ ALSO: What are the new family reunification rules for parents of Danish children?

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Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

Denmark’s Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen has hinted that more professions than the four care sectors currently slated for wage increases could be given a payrise in upcoming negotiations.

Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

The government has stated it wants to give higher wages to public employees who work in the social care (SOSU in Danish), child care (pædagoger), nursing and prison officer sectors.

The so-called lønløft or payrise for these groups is a stated aim of the government in upcoming tripartite talks (termed trepartsforhandlinger in Danish) between the government, employers and trade unions.

Additional sectors could also be recipients of the 3 billion kroner the government wants to spend boosting wages, Wammen said on Wednesday.

“We want to make an extra effort [for the sectors explicitly named],” he said ahead of initial meetings ahead of the negotiations.

“But we are not saying with this that other groups can’t come in, but this is our starting point,” he said.

Labour market representatives of both employees and employers – in other words, trade unions and employer confederations – can both push for changes to the government proposal during the tripartite talks.

“We are now setting up for negotiations. We’ll know how the final model is going to look once we’ve reached an agreement,” Wammen said.

The proposal for higher wages in the four areas was announced by the government earlier this week, with one of its stated goals being to attract more staff to address shortages.

The proposed payrises could amount to 2,500 kroner per month for people working in the sectors, provided they meet with the government’s demands related to conditions such as working hours.