Denmark extends border controls into 2022

Denmark's border with Germany in June 2020. Border controls have been extended until May 2022.
Denmark's border with Germany in June 2020. Border controls have been extended until May 2022. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix
Temporary border controls, in place in Denmark since 2016, are to be extended into 2022, the government has confirmed.

Border controls will remain in place until at least May 11th next year. The Danish government informed the EU of the decision last week, according to a letter signed by Minster of Justice Nick Hækkerup.

The government cites the treat of Islamist terrorism and organised crime in its justification for retaining the controls.

“The ongoing and significant threat to our public order and internal security caused by militant Islamists and organised criminals, who are able to misuse free movement within the Schengen area, continues to be of great concern to the Danish government,” the letter states according to news wire Ritzau’s report.

The justification is the same as provided by the government on previous occasions on which the controls have been extended.

First introduced in January 2016 in response to the European refugee crisis of late 2015, the controls have remained in place since.

Border control will be focused on several of Denmark’s outer border crossings, Ritzau writes.

This includes the land border with Germany as well as the Øresund Bridge crossing to Sweden, which is also technically a land border.

Harbours with ferry services connecting to Sweden and Germany will also be the subject of controls, according to Hækkerup in the letter.

Controls at borders undertaken as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will end on October 25th. As such, all border controls after that date will be security related.

EU countries which are part of the Schengen agreement, like Denmark, are permitted to introduce border controls if these are deemed necessary to protect internal security.

The controls may be extended for a maximum of six months. As such, they are still considered to be temporary even though the latest extension will take them past their six-year anniversary.

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