Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Denmark Copenhagen
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Image Credit: AP

Copenhagen: Denmark, which has one of Europe's most restrictive immigration policies, announced on Tuesday that it is tightening the conditions for naturalisation, notably excluding those who had been convicted of crimes.

The new rules follow a deal between the Social Democrat government and three right-wing opposition parties.

"Obtaining a Danish citizenship is a great declaration of faith from Danish society, according to the parties to the deal. They are therefore in agreement that it is necessary to raise the bar for who can become a Danish citizen," the migration ministry said in a statement.

Applicants for citizenship will now have to show a clean record - meaning no convictions even if suspended - and will need to show that they have been able to support themselves for at least three and half of the last four years.

The agreement presented by the government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, also puts a strong emphasis on "Danish values," and citizenship tests, that have been used since 2015, will now include five questions on these values.

"We want to be absolutely sure that those who receive Danish citizenship, with all the rights that go with it, are well integrated into Danish society and have also embraced it - including Danish values," migration minister Mathias Tesfaye told public broadcaster DR.

Those "Danish values" were said to include freedom of speech and equality.

According to Statistics Denmark, 11 per cent of Denmark's 5.8 million inhabitants are of foreign origin - either born abroad or with parents born abroad- and of those 58 percent are citizens of a country classified as "non-Western".

In 2020, of the approximately 7,000 people who became Danes, more than half were Europeans.