Denmark: migrants to work more

The Danish government presented a labour market reform on Monday. Among other things it includes measures aimed at encouraging more migrants to seek work: those who have been receiving unemployment benefits for a long time will in future be obliged to do up to 37 hours of community service a week. The country's press welcomes the initiative but suspects that it will be difficult to implement.

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Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

An ambitious project - now please make it work

For Jyllands-Posten the government is finally adopting the right approach:

“For more than 40 years they took the easy way out and left immigrants in the lurch, only to be oh so upset when yet another report revealed all kinds of fraud. ... These immigrants are now being given another chance to become part of society by contributing to it. This is not the first time that a government has exhibited such ambition, and this time too, there is no guarantee of success. But if the measures are implemented as consistently as the government is promising, it is certainly a well-conceived attempt.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Idleness is the root of many evils

Kristeligt Dagblad also welcomes the reform, but fears that there will be obstacles to its implementation:

“First and foremost the municipalities, which are already obliged to stimulate people's willingness to work and sanction those who don't accept the jobs and training offered to them. They barely apply sanctions because they support the basic employment policy rule that sanctions should not get in the way of a person's availability [for the labour market]. It will be hard to argue that you bring immigrant women closer to the labour market if you take away their cash benefits because they don't show up to pick up trash on the beach. This doesn't change the fact that this would be for the best. ... Work is a blessing for most, and idleness the root of many evils.”