Only 26% of asylum applications submitted in Denmark were successful in the second quarter of 2017 – down from 82% in the same period in 2016. This is among the lowest asylum approval rates in the European Union.

According to data published by Eurostat, only Bulgaria and the Czech Republic had lower figures, while the EU average was 46%, and Sweden and Germany both accepted 48%.

As reported by The Copenhagen Post, Denmark’s immigration services said the low approval rating was caused by a high number of applications from Iranian, Afghan and stateless seekers.

Although the authorities did not blame immigration quotas, the three groups tend to encounter more difficulty satisfying the asylum criteria than those, for example, fleeing warzones.

Despite criticism from human rights groups, the far-right Dansk Folkeparti is happy with the development. “The best part is that fewer are now seeking asylum in Denmark,” its immigration affairs spokesperson, Martin Henriksen, told

“It’s definitely moving in the right direction. Let’s now see if we can get the other parties to agree to tighten the legislation further.”

But Henriksen’s Alternativet counterpart, Josephine Fock, said: “We should be a pioneer country. We should show that we can take refugees and treat them well.”