Wednesday

11th Dec 2019

Denmark tightens border controls

  • Denmark wants to clamp down on migrants (Photo: quietdangst)

Denmark’s new Liberal led government is stepping up border controls in a bid to stop irregular migrants from entering the country.

The moves, announced Tuesday (30 June) by its new minister of foreign affairs Kristian Jensen, is raising broader concerns about internal freedom of movement rules in the EU.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Denmark is part of the EU passport-free Schengen area but says vamping up border checks won’t obstruct free passage.

The foreign ministry in a tweet said the plans are “not permanent border controls”.

Jensen in Berlin delivered a similar message to his German counterpart Frank Walter-Steinmeier.

"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 neighboring countries," he said, reports Deutsche Welle.

He also told Reuters they want to “make it tough on criminals to pass, but still easy for companies to come through."

The announcement is anchored in domestic politics.

The Liberal party was trying to enter into a shaky coalition with the anti-migrant Danish People's Party following elections on 18 June but talks between the two sides broke down over the weekend.

The Danish move comes as member states are grappling with mounting anti-migrant sentiment as thousands continue to cross the Mediterranean every week to seek asylum in the EU.

German attacks on the rise

In Germany, far-right attacks against refugee centres have surged, according to a government report out this week.

Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere described the rise in assaults against refugees and asylum seekers in Germany as “shameful”.

On Tuesday, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees said some 135,000 migrants have arrived by sea since the start of the year.

The whole of 2014 saw around 200,000 come, almost three times as high as the previous record in 2011.

Many are people fleeing violence, poverty and war. Most disembark from war-torn Libya and arrive in either Italy or in Greece.

The EU, for its part, has since launched a naval military campaign in the Mediterranean sea to undermine the smuggling route.

They also agreed to plans to ease asylum demand pressure on Italy and Greece by relocating 40,000 new arrivals to other member states over a two-year period.

Hungary spike

But Hungary has also since seen a spike in new arrivals from the Western Balkan route. Some 50,000 entered the country this year.

Many are fingerprinted and registered in Hungary but then move onto other member states, which then send them back to complete the asylum process.

In terms of asylum requests per capita, Hungary has had more than any other member state except for Sweden.

Authorities in Budapest say they are unable to cope and have since asked member states to stop returning them to Hungary.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration, on Tuesday pledged to help.

He told reporters in Budapest that Hungary will receive nearly €8 million of support to help it cope with the migration issue.

"Hungary is under pressure. We were talking so far about Italy and Greece, now we added Hungary,” he said.

UK and Spain granted most EU citizenships

Both the UK and Spain granted around 40 percent of all new EU citizenships in 2013. Meanwhile Denmark has slashed its monthly allowances to asylum seekers.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary asked to apologise after council leak
  2. MEPs: Finnish budget proposal 'impossible to implement'
  3. EP committee supports 'Future of EU Conference'
  4. EU survey: climate change must be parliament's priority
  5. Zahradil resigns as rapporteur on EU-Vietnam trade deal
  6. Russia plans 'Arctic Air Defence" with S-400 missiles
  7. Belgium: King does another round of consultations
  8. Thousands protest Orban's theatre clampdown

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Hungary quizzed over EU rules amid twitter row
  2. Spanish King meets party leaders to break deadlock
  3. EU alarmed by prospects of battle for Tripoli
  4. EU must manage climate and industry together
  5. Does Malta's Labour Party now belong in S&D?
  6. Green Deal targets pit Left against Right in parliament
  7. Human rights abusers to face future EU blacklists
  8. Zahradil 'conflict of interest' probe may flounder

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  2. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  3. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us