Legislative implementation of the decision has not yet taken place. In the view of DACoRD the agreed reduction in rights does not have a rational tie to the poorly stated aim and cannot be considered a legitimate means under the Convention. It is not necessary in a democratic society as many years practice of local voting rights have demonstrated. Good citizenship is hardly developed by limiting the right to participate.
As the matter stands recent research has shown a lessened participation in municipal elections by immigrants and their descendants in municipal elections in the two largest cities from the municipal election in 1997 to 2009 (11 percent loss of voters in Copenhagen and 17 percent in Århus). 44 municipalities were examined in the study, covering some 2.4 million votes in the 2009 election. The total participation in the 2009 municipal election was 37 percent for immigrants and 36 for descendants, while ethnic Danes tallied at 68 percent. (Politiken 23 June 2010, front page). In a comment to the study an 18 years old high school student, Danish born of Pakistani origin, indicated: “ I will not use my right to vote, because it does not lead to anything. And generally I believe many immigrants feel like that.” Some further comments ascribed to attitude to the harshness of the debate and disillusionment.
Family reunion and the 28 year rule (Art. 5 (d) (iv), cf. Art. 5 (d) (iii) and Art. 1
In the context of restrictive Danish rules on family reunion the Committee in para. 15 of its 2006 Concluding Observations expressed concern that the rule that the aggregate ties with Denmark must be stronger than their ties with any other country unless the spouse living in Denmark has been a Danish national or has been residing in Denmark for more than 28 years may lead to a situation of discrimination in the enjoyment of the right to family life, marriage and choice of spouse for persons belonging to ethnic or national minority groups.
In the Danish additional report, requested by the Committee, the Government found that the 28-year rule was not in contradiction with the principle of equality (CERD/C/CO/17/Add.1, para. 49). The Government further described the 28-year rule as an exception waiving the stipulation on aggregate ties of the couple and stated that there are objective reasons for the differential treatment accorded to citizens depending on the length of their citizenship (para. 50, cf. para. 33 “do not amount to unfounded discrimination”).
DACoRD respectfully disagrees and urge the Committee to review whether ’any distinction, exclusion or restriction… based on national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms’, inter alia the right to nationality. Yet the Government - in para. 50 cited above - states that ‘a person who has been a Danish national for 28 years will normally be found to have such ties with Denmark that it is possible to waive the condition of ties and allow family reunion in contradistinction to persons enjoying a Danish citizenship