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Fortress Denmark: EU raises questions about the Danish border politics

Friday, 13 May 2011
The EU Commission is far from convinced that the new Danish border can be implemented within the Schengen rules which allow for EU free movement.

A preliminary assessment of the border agreement between the government, the Danish People's Party and the Christian Democrats creates "serious doubts" about whether it is contrary to European and international rules,” says a spokeswoman for the EU Commission, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.

“We have received a preliminary legal assessment, and it creates serious doubts that it is contrary to European and international law if it is implemented at the extensive and intensive way as there is a prospect,” she said.

“There may well be problems under the border free Schengen cooperation and in relation to free movement of goods within the EU,” she adds.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, on Friday morning talked by telephone with Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to discuss the new border.
But it has not succeeded, Loop reassure the President, who will now write a letter to Danish Prime Minister with clarifying questions.

“The Chairman will invite the Danish government to refrain from taking individual steps (establishing the border, editor’s note), "Said Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.

Late last Wednesday Cecilia Malmstrom, the Swedish EU Commission commented about the Danish decision to impose controls at its borders, a decision which received criticism from the  Swedish and German MEP who thought that the policy violates the spirit of Europe's Schengen cooperation.

But the Danish immigration minister Soren Pind at a ministerial meeting in Brussels on yesterday insisted that the criticism was based on misunderstanding.
“There are no border controls,” he said “but just regular customs controls to look for drugs and weapons.”

The Danish immigration minister was also in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss among others amendments to the Schengen rules, which govern much of the freedom of movement across European borders.

Schengen is one of Europe's hottest political issues, not least because of the French border controls in recent weeks to stop the North African migrants from entering the country via Italy.

After the Danish decision on new controls, a spokesperson for the European Commission said that it is not acceptable to try to change the EU's free movement of goods and people across borders.

But on the way to the ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Soren Pind emphasized several times that what Denmark was not in violation of the Schengen rules.
“It is not about border checks of people's passports, which would be a breach of the Schengen rules”. “On the other hand,” said Soren Pind “Denmark shall allow customs officials to look for particular drugs and weapons at the border.”

“We do not want to reinstate limits in Europe," he said - However, we are trying to put a halt on cross-border crime”.

After yesterday’s clarifications, Sweden's migration minister, Tobias Billström believed that Denmark will not violate the Schengen rules.
“It says explicitly that the agreements will not in any way results in the police conducting checks of persons at the Danish border, and of course, nor is talk of introducing passport controls in relation to the countries of the Schengen cooperation. It's a bit hard not to take it at the basis of this, a discussion on that Denmark violates the Schengen acquis," said Tobias Billström radio Sweden on yesterday.
By Scancomark.se Team

Key Danish Facts
Official Name Kingdom of Denmark
King Margrethe II
Prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen
Population 5.5 Million
Capital City Copenhagen
Monetary Unit Danish Krona (DK)
  1dk = 100 ore
Domain Name .dk
Int. Dialling Code +45
Official Language Danish
Religion Christianity
Main stock market Name NASDQ OMX OMX  Copenhagen 20
Internet Speed 4.7 Mbps (2009)
Vital Links
Statistics Denmark
OECD data on Denmark
Denmark and UNICEF
International Energy Agency Denmark
Gateway to Denmark
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Danish Exporters


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