Danish police complain of ‘misinterpretation’ of EU travel rules

Danish police complain of 'misinterpretation' of EU travel rules
Drivers cross the border between Flensburg, Germany, and Denmark. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Gregor Fischer
The South Jutland police have voiced their concern at what they believe is a widespread misunderstanding of Schengen travel rules. Travellers often become angry at the Danish-German border having to show their passports, they claim.

According to the police force, some travellers have even refused to show their passports when asked. 

Residents of Denmark can generally travel freely between countries within the EU and Schengen. 

This means that the majority of people don’t have to wait in line at the individual border crossings to present their passport.

However, police may do a spot-check and could ask to see travellers’ passports. 

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“Unfortunately, our staff at the border occasionally experience that people entering Denmark do not want to show their passports or are angry at the staff that they are asked to show passports,” the South Jutland Police wrote on Twitter.

“Citizens believe that when you travel within the EU or countries covered by the Schengen cooperation, you do not need to present a passport – but that is a misinterpretation of the rules.”

Passports required outside the Nordic region

People with Danish passports must have those with them when travelling outside the Nordic region, and must present it if they are asked to do so by the police.

This also applies in the countries of Europe that are part of the Schengen area, which includes 26 countries in total – 22 of which are in the European Union.

As a rule, there are no border controls between the individual Schengen countries, but there is a possibility that the police will make random checks.

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Danish citizens do not have to bring their passport with them to travel to the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, but must be able to identify themselves with another form of photo identification.


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