Denmark to scrap checks at Swedish border and stop fewer drivers from Germany

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark to scrap checks at Swedish border and stop fewer drivers from Germany
Denmark will stop fewer vehicles on its border with German as part of reorganised controls from May 12th. Photo: Axel Heimken / AFP

Denmark will 'reorganise' its border control measures on the frontier with Germany from May 12th, the Danish justice ministry said on Friday. Spot checks on the border with Sweden will be discontinued.


The Danish government has informed the EU Commission of its decision to change its border control measures, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement on Friday.

The changes to the German border controls mean that fewer motorists will now be stopped for checks at the border when entering Denmark. Instead, border controls will be made in line with police assessments on where they are most needed.

The new border controls with Germany take effect from May 12th and will be set to expire on November 11th.

“It’s extremely important that we crack down on people who commit cross-border crime and these new changes will mean overall that crime fighting efforts in the border regions will be strengthened,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in the statement.

“When the government decides to maintain border controls at the German border for a new temporary period, we are doing so to address the threats that Denmark faces,” he said.

Under the rules of the Schengen agreement, countries can place temporary border controls under exceptional circumstances. After a six-month period, the temporary checks must be renewed.

Denmark initially introduced border checks in early 2016, citing the refugee crisis of late 2015 as justification. It later referred to a more general “security and migration situation” as cause for continually extending the controls, pointing to what it said was a threat of organised crime and terrorism.

The security controls at borders ran separately from full and partial border closures temporarily implemented and later ended during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Border controls have meant long queues can occur when entering Denmark by road from Germany as police pull aside vehicles for spot checks. Waiting times can also occur on trains.

READ ALSO: German politician complains to Denmark over border control

Spot checks have also been conducted since 2019 on the Denmark-Sweden border under the Danish temporary arrangement, but these will be discontinued, the Justice Ministry said on Friday. Sweden carries out its own checks on the border with Denmark.

Foreign minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that the reorganisation of the German border controls would enable Danish authorities to free resources for “drones, number plate recognition, and patrols”.

"It’s good practice [to have additional resources],” he said.

“Both in a situation where we can abolish control on the Danish-German border completely, as we are now doing in Sweden, and in a situation where the security situation makes it necessary to intensify it," he added.

The Justice Ministry said the National Police (Rigspolitiet) assessment is that "the reorganisation of border control will have a positive overall effect in relation to combating cross-border crime, which affects all police districts".


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