Danish border control mechanism confirmed


Friday, 01 July 2011
The Danish Assembly's Finance Committee today approved a controversial proposal to increase border controls at the border with Germany and Sweden. The motivation is to combat transnational crime, arms smuggling and the human trafficking.

According to Danish media, the actions will come into force on Tuesday. Customs have hired 50 new officers, who start work at border stations on Tuesday. Slow border controls, the return of passport requirements and the closed borders points have been painted as a future worst-case scenario. Many people are critical of the proposal.

The debate on border controls have been lively and criticized both in Denmark and in the EU. “It's all a misunderstanding and has been blown up unnecessarily,” says Peter Nedergaard, professor of political science at Copenhagen University. The proposal according to Nedergaard on increasing the number of random checks at the borders is not to create permanent border controls.


The Danish Government maintains that it would not violate the Schengen Agreement or impose permanent border controls without improving customs controls, an aspect which the EU now seems to have accepted.

Before today's vote, Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen has found it difficult to get a majority for the proposal in parliament. The Finance Committee approved the proposal by a vote of 9  to 8, and the parliament voted down a proposal to take the matter to a new review and debate.

Both members of the ruling party and the opposition Liberal Party is critical of the role of the Danish People's Party has received. Especially after the Danish People's Party has vowed to use a debate to challenge neighbouring Germany of its Nazi past proposal to increase border controls. This made the Danish government in May to a concession from the Danish People's Party so as to spare the country a huge embarrassment.

New polls also show that the Danish Reds (social democrats) opposition would win the Assembly elections if it were held today. Hans Engell, former justice minster and now political commentator on TV 2 in Denmark believe that the border issue has put the government out of control.

“Denmark goes on vacation with a government that has been difficult and that has no chance to survive in the coming Assembly elections,” said Engell.  Engell believe that the two government parties Venstre and the Conservative People's Party will take a distance from the Danish People's Party.
They will be fighting for their own mandate and not the government's survival, according to  Engell. The opposition has already promised to quash the border issues if they win the autumn elections.
By Team

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