Denmark on Thursday passed a law enabling it to process asylum seekers outside Europe, drawing anger from human rights advocates, the United Nations and the European Commission, APA reports citing Reuters.
The wealthy Scandinavian nation, which has gained notoriety for its hardline immigration policies over the last decade, passed the law with 70 lawmakers voting in favour and 24 against.
The legislation will complicate the European Union's efforts to overhaul Europe's fragmented migration and asylum rules, an extremely divisive subject within the bloc.
The European Commission, the European Union's executive, questioned the law's compatibility with Denmark's international obligations.
"External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection," Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said.
"It is not possible under existing EU rules or proposals under the new pact for migration and asylum," he added.