• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Norway wants to combat 'asylum shopping'
Opponents of the government's hard-line asylum plans at a January demonstration in Oslo. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Norway wants to combat 'asylum shopping'

NTB/The Local · 11 Mar 2016, 14:31

Published: 11 Mar 2016 14:31 GMT+01:00

“As long as redistribution in Europe doesn’t work, there are just a few countries that are very attractive [destinations for refugees, ed.]. Norway is one of them,” Listhaug said. 
 
European countries have recently been under fire for what critics say is a race to the bottom to establish the strictest national asylum policies. 
 
But Listhaug said that with several Eastern European countries having agreed to accept refugees, the fact that the refugees don’t accept the offer is proof that for many asylum seekers are comparing the conditions of the host countries rather than settling for a place where they will be safe. 
 
“It has developed into a form of asylum shopping, where the refugees themselves want to choose which country they can come to that has good welfare conditions and democracy,” she said. 
 
Asylum restrictions over Easter
Asylum and immigration policy was on the agenda when Listhaug on Friday met with the Council of Europe’s secretary general, Thorbjørn Jagland. 
 
Jagland has criticized several of Listhaug’s proposed asylum changes, saying that her plans to make family reunification requirements more stringent, provide only temporary residency for minors and turn away asylum seekers at the border would violate Norway’s international conventions. 
 
Listhaug said only that she “noted” his input and will continue to get the asylum package finalized over the Easter holiday. She said that a “sustainable immigration” policy is the government’s top priority and insisted that the proposals would be within the framework of international conventions signed by Norway. 
 
“It’s important for us to remain within the conventions that we have committed ourselves to following and we will ensure that we do that when we present the proposal to parliament,” she said. 
 
Jagland has previously criticized several EU countries for the measures they have taken to slow the influx of refugees, including the closure of borders and returning asylum seekers without due process. 
 
Story continues below…
He warned that the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has a clear line when it comes to family reunification and “one should not come in conflict with it”. 
 
Listhaug’s asylum package calls for refugees to have held a job or been in education for four years before they can bring their family members to Norway. That goes even further than the country’s southern neighbour Denmark, which has been heavily criticized for making refugees wait three years to be reunited with their families. 
 
Jagland, a former Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, was in Norway on Friday for his first official visit as secretary general. He was also due to meet with Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Justice Minister Anders Anundsen. 
 

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

NTB/The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Today's headlines
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.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Norwegian ship rescues over 1,000 refugees
Kripos said that the ship had never before brought so many people on board. Photo: Kripos/Scanpix

The Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot on Wednesday came to the aid of more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya.

Shareholders at Norway's Opera accept Chinese bid
Opera's Oslo offices. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Deal for the world's fight-biggest internet browser will now need US and Chinese approval.

Ryanair departure will doom Norway airport
Passengers depart a Ryanair flight at Moss Airport Rygge. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The board of directors at Moss Airport Rygge will shut down the airport's commercial operations if Irish carrier Ryanair makes good on its threats to abandon its base there.

Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
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
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
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
National
Oslo is the real ‘Capital of Scandinavia’
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
2,040
jobs available