• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Norway wants to deny all refugees if 'it all breaks down'
PM Erna Solberg said Norway is particularly vulnerable as "the last stop" in Europe. Photo: Paul S. Amundsen / NTB scanpix

Norway wants to deny all refugees if 'it all breaks down'

The Local · 23 Feb 2016, 14:32

Published: 23 Feb 2016 14:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Feb 2016 14:32 GMT+01:00

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is proposing emergency legislation that would allow Norway to deny entry to all asylum seekers who do not come directly from countries in conflict.

Solberg said that the legislation would only be implemented in an emergency situation and would protect Norway from the deteriorating situation within the Schengen region and the mounting strain the Swedish asylum system is facing from the current refugee crisis in Europe.

Under her plan, asylum seekers entering from Russia or other Nordic countries would be immediately rejected if they are not coming directly from areas of conflict.  

The legislation would go against the UN Refugee Convention and has therefore faced strong criticism, but Solberg said it would only be implemented in the face of a complete breakdown of Sweden's asylum system, which took in 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 and expects an additional 100,000 this year

"It is a force majeure proposal which we will have in the event that it all breaks down, the influx continues and everyone ends up in Norway because we are at the outer edge of Europe,” Solberg told Danish daily Berlingske.

"Norway is the last stop, isn't it?" she added. 
 
Even though the PM said her proposal would only be used in emergency situations, it has been slammed by the Norwegian Lawyers' Association as a direct violation of Norway’s international obligations.
 
"Several of these proposals violate human rights. We see the law as a rushed proposal," Bente Mostad Tjugum, the head of the association's asylum and immigration committee, told broadcaster NRK.

Solberg has defended the proposed legislation as a safety net for Norway.

“If the mechanisms in place in Europe do not work, then we have a chance to reject them [asylum seekers, ed.]. It is not a suggestion that we should do such a thing in the future, but it is a legal security measure if other countries fail to live up to their obligations,” Solberg continued.  

Story continues below…

The legislation will be presented to parliament soon, and is expected to gain broad support as Norway has begun adopting stricter refugee policies. Parties continue to bicker, however, over the government's 40-point asylum plan.

In 2015, around 30,000 people applied for asylum in Norway, a country of 5.2 million.

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Today's headlines
Norway backs plain packets for cigarettes
Health Minister Bent Høie said the plain packaging could be rolled out in 2017. Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Both Norway and New Zealand marked World No Tobacco Day by introducing new drab tobacco packaging.

Beer, bakery and meat strikes could hit Norway
Beverage and bakery employees have threatened to strike. Photos: Thomas Bjørnflaten and Heiko Junge / Scanpix

Failing a succesful mediation, Norwegians face a possible shortage of beer, hot dogs and baked goods as a result of workers’ strikes.

Majority: Ban tobacco sales for those born after 2000
The Norwegian Medical Association wants a 'smoke-free generation' by 2035. Photo: Erlend Aas / NTB scanpix

Six out of ten Norwegians support a proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after 2000.

Norway’s wealth fund passed on Facebook investment
Photo: Marianne Løvland / NTB scanpix

The head of the fund declined to speculate on how much it could have earned by getting on board earlier.

Tromsø is ’world’s third-best small town’
Tromsø: one of the three best small towns in the world. Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Norwegian world traveller Gunnar Garfors - aka ‘that dude who visited every country’ – says that Tromsø is among the best destinations on the planet.

Norway kids and parents tell each other to log off
Parents and kids accuse each other of spending too much time online. Photos: Jan Haas and Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norwegian parents are critical of the amount of time their children spend online but their children feel the exact same way about them.

Norway firm opens office in Minecraft
The Oslo firm set up their island office on Norway's biggest Minecraft server. Screenshot: Heisholt Inc

The company behind the world's first ever live Minecraft concert has now set up shop within the popular gaming platform.

79-year-old Norwegian lands plane with no propeller
Garstad's propeller (left) was found after his crash landing at Sola (right). Photos: Arnstein Løvbrekke/NTB Scanpix and Florian Pépellin/WikiCommons

The veteran pilot said the air traffic controllers were "more flustered than me” when he told them he was coming in for a crash landing.

Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
2,034
jobs available