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23 May 2019

Denmark Wants Permanent Border Controls to Stop Immigration, Terrorism

Schengen internal border controlsDespite of the continuous criticism by the EU towards the member countries that carry internal borders, Denmark is looking into introducing permanent border control in order to deal with illegal migration and terrorism.

Only this week, the Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen proposed that Denmark should undertake such a step, just a month ahead of the Danish general elections.

We must ensure that we have permanent border control. We are facing a number of challenges, such as immigration pressures, cross-border crime and terrorism. Therefore, as a nation state, we need to control our borders,” Rasmussen said regarding the issue.

He insisted that Denmark needs an outgoing border control, in order to check criminals who commit serial crimes.

He also proposed that the Schengen agreement should be updated, in order to permit Denmark and other EU member states with introduced temporary border controls to no longer have to seek the EU Commission’s permission to extend the controls.

Such comments of the Danish PM come at a time when several other EU officials have proposed similar things as updating the agreement or scrapping it off.

Less than a month ago, the President of France Emanuel Macron asserted during a press conference that the Schengen Area no longer works and that refoundation is indispensable. Among others suggesting that some of the member countries who are not contributing in migration issues should be excluded from the area.

Whereas last week, a candidate of Finns Party for the upcoming European Parliament Elections, Olli Kotro, said he wants to scrap the Schengen visa agreement, so that Finland can create visa-free travel with Russia instead.

Immediately after PM’s proposal, Danish political analysts criticized his stance, claiming that one cannot have both permanent border controls and Schengen membership.

It is very simple: you cannot make permanent border control and at the same time be a member of Schengen. So there will be a resounding ‘no’ to the EU. I don’t see how this whole idea of introducing it permanently will work. I don’t see how it could ever come become reality, be it with the European Commission or other EU states,” Danish Radio’s political analyst Karin Axelsson explained.

The introduction of internal border controls has been much discussed last year after several countries have continuously extended the internal checks, since their introduction in 2015, due to the European migration crisis.

In October last year, the rapporteur of the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs Committee Tanja Fajon assessed that the current Schengen Area internal border checks violate the EU law. Fajon proposed 42 amendments of the rules of border reintroduction within the Schengen zone.

Currently, Austria, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway carry internal border checks.

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