Denmark said on Thursday it would not take in any refugees under the United Nations’s quota system in 2018, focusing instead on integrating those recently arrived in the country.
In 2016, the Scandinavian country suspended its participation in the UN refugee quota system, and has yet to resume it.
“We’re still in a situation where we’re struggling to integrate the many refugees who have come to Denmark in recent years,” Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg says in a statement.
So-called UN “quota refugees” are offered resettlement in a third country if the country where they first register as refugees cannot accommodate them.
A member of the liberal Venstre party in Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s conservative government, Stojberg has orchestrated Denmark’s immigration policy since 2015.
“While an increasing number of refugees have entered the labour market, there are still too many who cannot support themselves,” she says.
The country registered 3,500 asylum seekers in 2017, according to the ministry, the lowest number since 2008.
For the first 10 months of 2018, some 2,600 applications have been received.
A new immigration law adopted at the end of 2017 stipulates that the number of refugees received is to be decided by the immigration ministry.