The Danish community needs to do more to welcome foreigners into their way of life if the country is to attract more expatriates.
That is according to journalist Martin Krasnik who addressed those attending a debate on the subject in Copenhagen.
He said it is up to Danish people to look to themselves if the country is to turn around the reputation of being an unpopular destination for expats.
Mr Krasnik told the Copenhagen Post: “We Danes need a real kick in the ass. It’s not enough to simply point the accusing finger at foreigners and say it’s them that need to change, not us.”
All four of those on the event’s panel at the Dansk Design Center agreed that it is important for a culture shift to come about in terms of expats so that Denmark can attract skilled foreign workers.
Tine Horwitz, panellist and the head of the Consortium for Global Talent, said: “Skilled workers found outside of these borders don’t steal Danish jobs. They create them.
“If we don’t do anything to try keep them here, we risk getting left behind.”
In the past Margrethe Vestager, the economy minister, has called on Danes to be less pretentious in their attitudes towards those thinking of moving to the country to live and work.
Anne Knudsen, another panellist and the editor-in-chief at Weekendavisen, said: “The Danish workplace is a quiet one. People get on with their job and try not to disturb anyone.”
“Then when the clock strikes five, we Danes get up and go home. Foreigners may see this as impersonal, but we see it as natural.”
While workers in many countries are encouraged to socialise with each other, it has been suggested that such attempts in Denmark could be seen as insincere by its citizens.
Ms Knudsen said: “Why else would you make the effort to go out drinking with your boss, if not for getting a leg up in your career? Danes just get on with the job, and go home.”
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