• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Refugee crisis
Sweden begins checks on all Denmark arrivals
Border checks took effect at midnight and all travellers must show ID. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix

Sweden begins checks on all Denmark arrivals

Sören Billing/AFP · 4 Jan 2016, 08:05

Published: 04 Jan 2016 08:05 GMT+01:00

All train, bus and ferry passengers travelling from Denmark to Sweden will from Monday be required to show photo identification before being allowed across the border in a drastic move by the Swedish government to stem an unprecedented migrant influx.
 
Travellers have been warned to expect long queues and delays once the checks go into effect from midnight  on the Danish side of the Øresund bridge-and-tunnel link, which has been a major entry point for migrants and refugees hoping to start a new life in Sweden.
 
The measures are aimed at keeping out undocumented migrants and come after Sweden -- which has taken in more asylum seekers per capita than any other European nation -- said it could no longer cope with the unregulated flow of new arrivals.
 
A temporary fence has already been erected at Copenhagen Airport's Kastrup station, where trains will be stopped for the mandatory controls, to prevent people from trying to slip across the tracks.
 
"It's as if we are building a Berlin Wall here. We are going several steps back in time," said Michael Randropp, a spokesman for the local Kystbanen commuters' association.
 
The re-introduction of border controls means that travellers between the two Nordic countries will have to show their passports for the first time in over half a century, and deals yet another blow to Europe's cherished passport-free Schengen system.
 
Several other European Union countries, including Germany, Austria and France, also re-imposed border checks last year as the continent grappled with its biggest refugee crisis since World War 2.
 
More than one million migrants reached Europe in 2015, most of whom were refugees fleeing war and violence in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
 
Sweden, a country of 9.8 million people known for its generous asylum policies, took in an estimated 160,000 asylum seekers last year alone.
 
Delays, fines
But the inflow has strained the country's capacity to take care of the newcomers and authorities recently warned they would no longer be able to provide housing for everyone.
 
As the public mood shifted, the government began reversing its open-door policy.
 
Some temporary border controls were already re-introduced on November 12th, after which the number of weekly arrivals dropped from a peak of 10,500 to some 3,500 by mid-December, according to Sweden's Migration Agency.
 
In a further attempt to regain control over the flood of people arriving via Denmark, the Swedish parliament last month passed a temporary law making transport companies responsible for ensuring that those arriving via the 8-kilometre (5-mile) Øresund crossing carry valid photo ID.
 
Anyone who fails to provide the necessary documents will be turned back, and travel operators who fail to comply risk a fine.
 
"I believe that these ID checks will be effective. More will have to seek asylum in other countries," Migration Minister Morgan Johansson recently told the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
 
Aside from the inconvenience the checks are expected to cause -- especially for the roughly 8,600 daily commuters between Copenhagen and the southern Swedish city of Malmö -- the new measures have annoyed Danish travel operators for financial reasons.
 
Story continues below…
Danish train company DSB has already threatened to levy a supplementary charge on passengers crossing the strait to cover the costs of the checks.
 
And the Danish HH Ferries Group said it had reported Sweden to the EU for unfair competition after being required to pay for identity checks.
 
The company argues that the consortium operating the Øresund Bridge, and which is partly owned by the Swedish government, was given special treatment because it was not required to help fund the measures.
 
The border controls have also irked the Danish authorities, who are waiting to see if they will end up with a buildup of migrants stuck at their border.
 
The migration crisis has been a major point of contention between the two neighbours, with Denmark's right-wing government actively discouraging migrants and refugees from settling in the country.
 
It took in only about 18,000 asylum seekers last year.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sören Billing/AFP (news.denmark@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Danish 'devil of death' nurse gets life for killing patients
Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Scanpix

A Danish nurse, dubbed a "devil of death" by prosecutors, was on Friday sentenced to life in prison for murdering three patients and trying to kill a fourth.

Brexit
Brits in Denmark left shocked and concerned by Brexit
British expats in Denmark were left feeling like these supporters of the 'Stronger In' campaign who watched the referendum result in London early on Friday. Photo: Rob Stothard/AFP/Scanpix

The Local spoke with a handful of British expats living in Denmark on Friday and not a single one was happy about the referendum result.

Roskilde Festival 2016
8 key questions ahead of this year’s Roskilde Festival
It's that time again! Roskilde begins on Saturday. Photo: Tobias Nicolai/Roskilde Festival

Denmark's biggest party is about to kick off – here's what we'll be keeping our eyes on as The Local once again heads to Roskilde.

Brexit
Denmark vows to defend euro peg after Brexit vote
The Danish krone has had a fixed exchange rate since 1982. Photo: Colourbox

National Bank "will do what it necessary to maintain a stable exchange rate".

Brexit
EU-sceptic Danish party calls for referendum, PM says no
PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and FM Kristian Jensen addressed the Brexit results on Friday morning. Photo: Uffe Weng/Scanpix

The Red-Green Alliance wants a Danish referendum on EU membership within a year but the PM reaffirms that "we belong in the EU".

Maersk to mull splitting group under new CEO

Danish oil and shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk named a new chief executive and said major changes could be in store.

Brexit
Danish PM: Brexit ‘very sad’ for Denmark and EU
Leave supporters cheer the referendum results on Thursday night. Photo: Toby Melville/Scanpix

Lars Løkke Rasmussen said on Friday morning that he is disappointed in the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU.

Brexit
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Photo: Bjørn Wylezich/Iris/Scanpix

With Brexit a reality, many point to Denmark as being the next country to follow suit but Danish experts say they are wrong.

Denmark's Sankt Hans Aften explained: Witches and rain
How many hay witches will die tonight? Photo: Colourbox

Denmark will be ablaze with bonfires on Thursday night – if predicted heavy rains don't put a damper on the Sankt Hans Aften celebrations.

Brexit
We hate EU too but 'please stay', Danish daily urges Brits
A woman rides a bicycle as she leaves a polling station at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, west London on Thursday. Photo: Leon Neal/Scanpix

In a rare move, Berlingske made an English-language appeal to Brits.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
2,271
jobs available