• 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
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg. Photo: Simon Læssøe/Scanpix

Following an EU ruling last month, the Danish government is fast-tracking new legislation that will put greater emphasis on children's ‘ability to integrate’.

After 1,000 years, ‘forgotten’ Danish Viking fortress opens
The 'forgotten' Viking fortress is one of five in Denmark. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

The historic discovery of a fifth Viking ring fortress was celebrated in grand style on Monday and will open to the public on Wednesday.

Danish royals: Only Prince Christian should get money
Only Prince Christian, shown here with his father Crown Prince Frederik at the opening of a revamped Skovshoved Marina, should expect taxpayer funding. Photo: Michael Bothager/Scanpix

Danish MPs may not need to decide which royal grandchildren to cut off financially after all.

American tourists flocking to Copenhagen
The number of overnight stays and international passengers are both up sharply in the first quarter of 2016. Photo:

American tourists flocking to Copenhagen

1 day ago

A number of new low-price flight options have given the Danish capital a major tourism boost.

My Danish Career
'I was fired from my first Danish job after nine days'
Henrik Cullen is a British-born expat who also holds Danish nationality. Photo: Juan Franco

In the latest instalment of My Danish Career, we spot with British-Danish 'local expat' Henrik Cullen who overcame a rough start to find success in Copenhagen.

Danish man gets stuck in museum chimney
Not the actual chimney. Photo: Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Maybe he just couldn't wait until the museum opened on Monday.

Denmark ready to cut off money to royal grandkids
Queen Margrethe and her eight grandchildren waving to well-wishers on the queens's birthday last month. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix 2016

Politicians appear ready to limit the number of Queen Margrethe’s grandchildren who get an annual salary from the state.

First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A memorial park to mark the world's largest naval battle that took place May 31, 1916 during World War will soon open in Denmark. Photo: Scanpix

Britain yesterday kicked off a week of commemorations marking one hundred years since the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Seagulls 1, Aarhus 0
Aarhus's Hitchcockian nightmare will continue. Photo: Stefan W/Flickr

Officials in Denmark’s second city declared an all-out war on seagulls earlier this year. They lost.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
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...
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
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
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
2,290
jobs available