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EU warns Denmark on Sweden border controls

AFP/The Local · 18 Jul 2011, 15:02

Published: 18 Jul 2011 15:02 GMT+02:00

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The European Union's executive arm said experts met with Danish authorities last Thursday and visited the country's borders with its two European neighbours, which are part of the Schengen passport-free travel zone.

"Unfortunately, the mission did not enable us to get adequate answers to our questions," said EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

"There are persistent concerns about the compatibility of Denmark's strengthened internal control measures with the freedoms provided under the EU Treaty including the Schengen acquis," she said.

"It is incumbent on Denmark to demonstrate factually that the gravity of the situation justifies putting in place controls which might affect the exercise of free movement of goods, services and persons at the internal borders with Germany and Sweden."

The result of the mission makes it "even more necessary to establish a reinforced dialogue with the Danish authorities and to put in place a strict monitoring system based on regular information from the Danish authorities."

A letter was sent to Danish authorities to get further clarifications and further visits are not excluded, she said.

"The commission will not hesitate to use all tools at its disposal to guarantee free movement of goods, services and persons and the full respect of EU legislation," she said.

Denmark deployed 50 new customs officers at its borders with Germany and Sweden on July 5, a controversial measure hammered out under pressure from its

far-right ally which drew critics from Brussels and its neighbours.

The Scandinavian country argues random border checks are in line with Schengen and that their aim is to combat the smuggling of illegal goods and drugs, not to control travellers.

Story continues below…

"In a first assessment the experts reported that they were unable to get sufficient justifications from the Danish side for the intensification of the controls at the internal borders," the commission said in a statement.

"In particular, according to the experts, the risk assessment required to justify the controls was not sufficient and there were no clear instructions to border control officers on how to carry out controls," it said.

"There also does not seem to be a structured reporting mechanism about the numbers of controls and the results of the intensified border checks."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:07 July 18, 2011 by Nemesis
Has no one told these idiots that Sweden has four times as many officers on the Öresund bridge at the toll booth, as Denmark has at the other end?

As for the Danish patrols. I have seen significantly less Danish patrols in the last month than there was a year ago at both the Malmö and Helsingborg crossings, but a VERY significant increase in Swedish patrols, Swedish sniffer dogs and people being stopped and questioned by uniformed Swedes.

It was announced by the Danish authorities that there was going to be extra patrols which there were for four or five days. Now there are less than at anytime I have travelled across the Öresund in the last four years.
16:31 July 18, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Screw the EU.
16:52 July 18, 2011 by Marc the Texan
I'm with Denmark. And I'm ready for a big rollback of EU powers. Hopefully the coming EMU catastrophe will facilitate this.
17:05 July 18, 2011 by cutthecrap
It's time for the malevolent EU to be seriously challenged by the European member governments. The movement to completely dismantle the EU and the Eurozone is growing by the day.
17:12 July 18, 2011 by Rick Methven
@Marc the Texan

Yet another dumb Yank telling US Europeans what to do. and one who is so far behind the times that he is not aware that the EMU was the precursor of the Euro and became obsolete 11 years ago.

But there again Texans have never been known to be the sharpest pencils in the box
17:15 July 18, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Marc the Texan

It is good to see a US citizen opposing continent wide organisations. I assume you want a referendum to remove the dollar as the currency for all the various USA states. I look forward to the day that the USA loses its single currency, its single domestic market and freedom to travel between the various USA states, without a passport. The terrible imposition of the dollar and freedom to travel across all USA states, by all USA citizens, was indeed a nightmare event in history.

@ cutthecrap

If the EU fails, then all Europe wide agreements are null and void. I hope you have Swedish citizenship and a Swedish passport, otherwise you could be deported back to your own land. Without the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights you most likely would have not have a legal method to claim any assets you leave in Sweden, if you are deported.

@ Tanskalainen

Screw the USA, its single currency, its single domestic market and freedom to travel between the various USA states, without a passport.
17:56 July 18, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

What kind of pot do you buy? I can see, for what you write, that is far much better than the Golden Acapulco.

How in the hell can you put in black and white the following: "I look forward to the day that the USA loses its single currency, its single domestic market and freedom to travel between the various USA states, without a passport. The terrible imposition of the dollar and freedom to travel across all USA states, by all USA citizens, was indeed a nightmare event in history."

The USA states are not different countries and the dollar has not been an imposition.

You are the one who is becoming the nightmare of The Local with your nincompoop way of analysing and commenting news.

Just imagine that in Sweden you would need a passport to travel between Stockholm and all the other communities that form this little tiny country.
18:16 July 18, 2011 by Nemesis
@ J. L. Belmar

Just because you consume narcotics, please don't assume I do. I would ask you to keep your filthy, mind destroying habit to yourself. I have no requirement in my life for narcotics as there are no voids in my life.

The USA was made up of numerous states, incorporated into the United States at various times. Sometimes by agreement and sometimes by war. The Southern States were forcibly re-incorporated into the USA by civil war.

The dollar and participation in government in Washington DC progressed over a number of decades, over what is now known as the United States of America.

Some states were taken from the British during the initial struggle for independance. Some came from the French. Andrew Jackson took Florida for the USA from the Spanish. Texas and California were taken from Mexico by war. None of this was by democratic vote of each state.

There was no democratic vote regarding seizure of lands from all indigenous people that occupied the lands that make up the USA before Europeans moved to North America.

There was never a democratic vote on using the dollar by any USA state. That is why everytime a US citizen raises opposition to the Euro and European Union I ask them about there lack of democratic vote in building the Union of the USA. There wars with various states to incorporate some states and imposing the dollar without democratic referendum was an undemocratic act.

The European Union has never went to war with any country to seize territory and incorporate it as the USA did with Texas and California, or the re-incorporation of the Southern States. Each country has a referendum to approve joining the Europe Union before membership can be approved.
18:18 July 18, 2011 by crocadoodledoo
@j.l.belmar: totally second you!

if denmark wants to be a part of EU, it should have border controls just as all the other EU schengen zone countries...no more no less...that tiny miniscule nation thinks its an economic powerhouse in the area sometimes going too far with its arrogant assertive and racist anti-immigrant rants. one trade embargo will make the chicken come home to the roost.
18:20 July 18, 2011 by cogito
@Marc the Texan,

Pay no mind to Angry Rick (#5). His intellectual evolution is arrested at the stage where calling other posters dumb or idiots or nazis passes for discussion. He also likes to police the minor errors and grammatical lapses of posters.

Here is a typical sample from one of his refined posts (caps mine for emphasis).

"The yanks WHERE spotted because they WHERE wearing cowboy boots...

Here's another:

"They ignore the fact that the dumb American spies WAS caught out by Säpo who WHERE ahead of them...."

You can always identify the America haters by their illiteracy..

On your comment; yes, the EU is going down the toilet.
19:23 July 18, 2011 by budaboy
What's the big deal about Denmark's border patrol?

It's actually the same as what Sweden, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy,etc. are doing,

They all tightened up their borders in 2011, they are getting run over..Holland is pretty full and needs to shut the doors for awhile.

The Dutch border patrol detained 110 people at the border, most with outstanding warrants and wanted in different EU countries,

among these newcomers they found weapons, drugs. Cops dismantled a human trafficking attempt, and a number of other crimes were prevented.

This was over a two week period last month..

All and all, enough proof there is a serious need to watch who comes and goes in your backyard, we all have to.....
19:40 July 18, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

I can see that you are a nincompoop Swede. So, until you prove the opposite, you will remain being a nincompoop Swede. You simply do not know how to debate.


I will better be a "nigga" than a nincompoop. I can stop being a "nigga", but you will always be a s.o.b. nincompoop.
19:48 July 18, 2011 by Nemesis
@ J. L. Belmar

As usual, WRONG.

I am not Swedish. I am Scotch-Irish.

It is also clear you know nothing about the history of the USA or anywhere else.
20:03 July 18, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

No wonder you are what you are. Good Lord! A Scoth-Irish on the road. By the way, what is your name? I sign my "stupidities" with my name, but you hide behind a nickname. That is what I call being a true Scotch-Irish and nothing more. Try the Golden Acapulco. It is good for the brains of people like you.

You are well known in The Local debates, as the one who enjoys insulting others, so that is the reason I ask you: Please show us who you are and do not hide behing a nemesis nickname. Could you stop being a coward and show your face?

With due "respect"
20:56 July 18, 2011 by calebian22

The last state to be added was more than 50 years ago, 1959. In the 20th century there were only 5 states added to the Union. The individual states progression into government is not a recent phenomenon. As for states going to war over currency, name one internal war over currency. The Civil War was not over currency. (Economic and social differences, abolition, and state versus federal influence. Currency from the Coinage Act of 1792 might fall under the last one, but currency as a stand alone reason for war, is beyond rubbish) Your dislike of US foreign policy doesn't mean your version of history is correct.
21:44 July 18, 2011 by lovedealer76
some idiots here has just gone out of topic on what to talk about her and they know,shame on them
22:19 July 18, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

Welcome to the club! We needed one more idiot such as you.
00:27 July 19, 2011 by Alfred Nevada
Wait a minute, how can the EU organization presume to tell a sovereign nation what they can and can't do in their own country? Denmark's business is Denmark's business and they can run their own country any way they damn well see fit. If the EU is going to be like that, maybe that goes to show Denmark it's high time to GTFU of the EU?
00:29 July 19, 2011 by jack sprat
I'm with the Danes.

Surely every country in the world has some right to protect its own borders.

The EU looks more ridiculous every day.
01:40 July 19, 2011 by GLO
Go Denmark ..... Finally someone with the braines to watch who is comming for Dinner for free.....
04:07 July 19, 2011 by philster61
So let me guess Jack Sprat.Are you a European living in another European country? I bet you are.....
08:55 July 19, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Thanks for the support cogito. I think Rick's got me wrong. I'm not down on Europe. I'm down on the EU and what it's doing to Europe. And although I'm a Yank and a Texan, I was born in England and have citizenship in more than one European country.
09:17 July 19, 2011 by cogito
@Marc, Rick is one of those American-hating Brits who never got over 1776. He thinks of the TL as the last outpost of the British Empire and himself as the viceroy. But he's good for laughs.

I regret voting for Sweden to join the EU. Now I see how this superstate, with its vaulting bureaucracy and authoritarianism, is merely the latest European totalitarian project.

With luck it will go the way of communism, fascism and the other nasty European isms.
09:23 July 19, 2011 by ericrufinosiah
Perhaps all these Scandinavian countries should open their boarders for more

refugees to be welcomed if that is what EU wants and now Italy and Greece are

having problem with the " you must welcome us,refugees into your country " and

in the name of human rights,we are to be granted equal rights as the natives

10:06 July 19, 2011 by comentatir
You all are full of hate against each other inside!

When it comes talking, we the easterners are the violent, crime-prone, less developed people. (^ o ^)
11:09 July 19, 2011 by donutwallah

not so: in the UK we had a referendum about joining the Common Market. There was never any public consultation about joining the EU.
16:48 July 19, 2011 by axiom
The EU, can dictate to Denmark what to do with its policies because Denmark is a member, not an associate, a full member which in fact joined by virtue of a referendum in 1973. To suggest that the Danes are somehow being forced to accept what the EU dictates is rather dishonest. They chose to become members of the organisation and in doing so a parts of its instruments and policies. Doing so even before Sweden.

The current Treaty of Lisbon provides for exit clauses from the EU which the Danish people should be rather free to exercise at some point. So I don't buy this "forcing people or dictating to people" rhetoric.

The United States is a federal republic, at the root of it, it consists of several independent states ( another name for a country) that have united to form a federal government and transferring some rights such as currencies, foreign policies and defence to the union. The fact that this happened 10, 15 or 200 years ago is irrelevant. Problems always occur when unions are being formed. There are states that left and rejoined the USA in the early days and even fought wars over this, some states even issued their own currency. In fact, there are now TEN states now that are proposing returning to issuing their own currencies with actual bills in state legislatures. One such bill can be read in detail here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/bills/500.htm So before we hope for the euro to collapse, we ought to look in our own backyards.

Now if the Danes wish to erect border controls, they are wholly within their sovereign so to do, but they ought to consider their commitment to the EU and the Nordic Union and whether seceding is a more suitable alternative. In fact so should all other countries. The Brits talk pretty much the same way, but the UK, too, joined by means of a referendum and in fact went as far as the EMU.

But the EU itself has to take some fault for these problems, you cannot create a stable economical and political union filled with opt-outs, interpretations, multiple instruments and organisations, there is a country in the Schengen and then nothing else. There is a country in the EEC but not the EU, etc. That is not workable, you are in or you are out. Let the people decide and get the EU moving forwards.

BTW if the Euro collapse, it would very likely take other currencies with it. These could include the GBP and the USD largely due to bank exposure to euro denoted debts and bonds as the well as the collapse of a large export market.
18:10 July 19, 2011 by Nemesis
@ donutwallah

The EU is the Common Market.

Stop reading the Daily Mail and go to a library that your Neo-Liberal government has not suceeded in closing and learn something.
18:49 July 19, 2011 by axiom
@Nemesis - I agree


The British people have been going about this for the last few years. Fact is, the UK joined the EC by a referendum and as such a choice of the majority of the UK people. This evolved eventually into the EU and later codified with the Lisbon Treaty. The public consultation was when parliament voted to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, the public had the option of choosing a different parliament.

The British legal system does not demand a referendum when such transitions of power occur. I would rather question such a legal system, which permits this outside of the direct control of the people. Again, the people must take responsibility for this, and possibly the lack of foresight.

The EU holds no blame for this, and successive governments have realized that the UK leaving the EU is not an option. Just look at the current govt of David Cameron, remember all the referendum rhetoric a few years ago? where is it now?
11:26 July 20, 2011 by cogito

No, the EU is not the Common Market.

EU eurocrats are exactly the same kind of people who gave Europe Nazism, Marxism and fascism, but their controlling, bullying, freedom-hating instincts are more dangerous than other totalitarian philosophies.
13:12 July 20, 2011 by axiom

Interesting that the same people gave such contrasting views on politics and on political identity.

Here again the EU is freedom hating, while a few posts up it is granting too many freedoms. The critics need to find a common argument. Most opponents of the EU can't think of a set of formidable arguments against it just name calling and screaming.
17:38 July 20, 2011 by Nemesis
@ axiom

19:49 July 20, 2011 by J Jack
Why all the comments .. Danmark is expensive! .. even the Germans gas up their cars at home with just enough fuel to get to Sweden and then fill up in Sweden before going home. Nobody wants to stop and spend money there except for booze. Danmark & Norge, the thorn in the side anti EU countries and the most expensive ... go figure! They also have too much money to spend from the taxpayers so they have to throw it at something .. Their behavior is more American in a paranoid context and quite typically proud in a Danish context. What Danmark needs to do is lower the price of consumables and extend a warmer welcome to visitors so they stay for a while and spend their money ... otherwise Sweden will continue to dominate the Scandinavian tourist market with it's free camping tolerance and low presence of uniforms (except parking nazis who prefer not to ticket foreign plates due to excess paperwork). Furthermore, the EU would do well to just ignore the Danes and get on with business as usual .. there's a lot more fish to fry. The Danes are just very hard working people who can't find enough to do and are jealous of everyone else going about their travels in a carefree way without some cooperative infrastructure.
21:28 July 20, 2011 by saar
I drive across Öresund bridge every day. I haven't seen any Danes at the border.
21:54 July 20, 2011 by Yngvadottir
The passage "its far-right ally" is seriously misleading. The reference is to a far-right party within the government, not to another country with which Denmark is allied.
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