Denmark Plans to Reinstate Guards at Borders

John W. Miller, Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2011

The Danish government said Wednesday it would reinstate guards along borders with Sweden and Germany and conduct spot checks designed to fight crime and illegal migration. Although the move falls short of full reinstatement of border controls, it is the latest in a series of small steps reversing hassle-free travel across European Union frontiers.

The move was made for domestic political reasons–to satisfy a party in the ruling coalition that is skeptical about immigration–but it is a sign that opinion in Europe about open borders is changing following fears about unemployment and increased migration from tumultuous North Africa.

{snip}

Worries about immigration have been mainly concentrated in Italy and France, which have received the majority of a recent influx of 25,000 North Africans, mainly Tunisians, who left the country when the dictatorial regime collapsed and was no longer able to enforce its own borders. The two countries have demanded the EU changes its rules to allow them to restore some border controls.

Home-affairs ministers from the EU’s 27 countries are meeting Thursday to discuss a proposal floated last week by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, suggesting a revamp of the bloc’s migration policies.

The ideas, which will be voted on at a summit of EU leaders on June 24, includes widening the circumstances under which countries would be allowed to temporarily reinstate border controls. The Schengen agreement on lifting border controls, signed in 1985, allows countries occasional spot checks for reasons of national security.

{snip}

In Denmark, the issue of tighter border control has become a political bargaining chip. The governing center-right minority government, which consists of a coalition between the Conservatives and liberal-right party Venstre, wants to raise the retirement age, cut retirement benefits and enact other austerity measures. In exchange for signing off on the deal, the right-leaning Danish People’s Party has demanded the new border controls.

{snip}

“Denmark should be a safe country, and we will do all it takes to fight the rise in cross-border crime committed in within our borders,” Mr. Barfoed [Justice Minister Lars Barfoed, of the Conservatives] said, adding that the government has ensured that the tighter border control is carried out within the framework of the Schengen agreement and won’t “impede the free crossing of borders by citizens and businesses.”

Justice Minister Lars Barfoed, of the Conservatives

The Schengen zone includes 22 EU countries and three from outside the EU. Other countries in the zone, such as Sweden, Norway and France, already carry out spot checks, said Marlene Wind, a professor at Copenhagen University.

Wednesday’s announcement was “just oversold to cater to the electorate of Danish People’s Party,” she said. “Unfortunately, it also sends a signal to the outside world that Denmark is a small provincial village that wants to be left alone.”

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Heritage Girl

    And… what exactly is wrong with being a provincial village that wants to be left alone? That’s the problem with all these intellectuals… they can’t understand that sometimes, a group doesn’t want to be “diversified.”

  • Anonymous

    LET ME PREDICT..

    CRIME IN DENMARK IS NON EXISTENT

    THERE IS A STRONG SENSE OF PRIDE

    THINGS IN DENMARK WORK WELL.

    THERE IS LONG TERM PLANNING FOR DENMARKS FUTURE

    THE COUNTRY IS SOLVENT

    All the side effects of “racism” and virulent “nationalism”

  • TomSwift

    “Unfortunately, it also sends a signal to the outside world that Denmark is a small provincial village that wants to be left alone”

    “also???” This is exactly the message the DPP probably wants to send. Why would any sensible country want foreigners meddling in their internal affairs? Why would they want their homes, which they busted their butt building, to be transformed into a place they don’t want to live in anymore?

  • Anonymous

    And just what is so wrong with a small provincial village wanting to be left alone???

  • Uncle Bob

    Wonderful! I’d love living in a small provincial village that wants to be left alone.

  • Anonymous

    I have some Danish ancestry and after reading the article about the Norwegian man who left Oslo because of the way the Muslim and black immigrants were treating him and his daughter it’s good to see one white country that seems to care about it’s people. And I love the reactions of the liberals who can’t understand that their “diversity” ( which is just a polite word for white alienation and genocide) isn’t wanted by most but forced on us because whites don’t seem willing to oppose our governments and stand up for our racial rights. Hopefully others were follow Denmark’s example and stop the white hating immigrants from flooding into our nations. But I doubt it.

  • John

    I’m happy for Denmark.

    What irritates me more than anything are liberal elites who decide that they know better than everyone else, and that their set of ethics and values are better than that of other peoples’.

    Denmark does not “owe” anything to the rest of the world. The rest of the world would like Denmark to owe them something, but it ultimately does not.

    I used to be a liberal, and now I believe that many believe they’re smarter and wiser than non-liberals. It is not for them to decide what is right and wrong for the rest of us. I am happy for Denmark, and now I am against the EU.