Denmark To Reimpose Border Controls ‘Within The Schengen Rules’

New rightwing government confirms ‘checks in the border areas’ to combat illegal immigration and smuggling, that will not violate free travel agreement.

Denmark foreign secretary Kristian Jensen said he discussed the border controls with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Berlin on Tuesday. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP


Denmark plans to reimpose border controls while sticking to the rules of the EU’s open-border Schengen agreement, the country’s new foreign minister told his German counterpart on Tuesday.

“We will suggest something that is within the Schengen rules and there will be a dialogue with Brussels and the EU commission, but also with our neighbouring countries,” Kristian Jensen told the Danish news agency, Ritzau, after meeting with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Berlin.

The Danish foreign ministry confirmed the report.

The move is aimed at combatting illegal immigration and smuggling. “There won’t be a border barrier and it’s not … on the border. There will be checks in the border areas,” said the foreign ministry spokesman, Lars Peter Levy.

Denmark’s new rightwing government took power on Sunday after unsuccessful coalition talks with the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP), which became the largest party on the right in this month’s election.

But to pass legislation in parliament, the narrow minority government will need the backing of the DPP, which says it wants to reintroduce border controls to combat illegal immigration and smuggling.

In 2011 another rightwing government placed permanent customs controls at Danish borders, but the move was met with harsh criticism from the EU commission and Germany and was dropped by the centre-left government that was ousted this month.

Denmark is a member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone, which means that once migrants have arrived in the country, they can travel freely elsewhere in the other 25 nations in the bloc.

France’s top administrative court said on Monday that border controls on migrants at the Italian frontier were legal and did not violate the agreement.

– The Guardian