Denmark Extends Border Controls With Germany for 8th Year in a Row

Denmark will be extending controls at the land borders with Germany for another six more months, thus entering the eighth year in a row, of continuously extending controls at these borders.

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The decision has been confirmed by the country’s Minister of Justice Matthias Tesfaye in a memo to the parliamentary judicial committee on Monday, December 24.

As The Local reports, the Minister sent a letter to the EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, to inform her of Denmark’s decision to extend border controls for another six months, in which he also noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would increase the risk of anyone “who could pose a threat to Denmark” travelling to the Schengen countries.

Currently, Denmark, just like several other Schengen Area countries, has in place border controls that were extended last May, and the same were set to expire on November 12, 2022.

Before that, in April, the Danish Center for Terrorism Analysis, which is part of the police intelligence service PET, had published an assessment concluding that the wave of refugees reaching Denmark from Ukraine represents a high risk that people who are a threat to the territory of Denmark, its security, and its citizens, will have it easier to enter the country, reports.

The country had first introduced border controls in late 2015, amid a refugee crisis when millions had reached Europe from Syria, escaping the war and brutality of terrorist groups like ISIS.

The reintroduction of border controls is regulated by the Schengen Borders Code (SBS), which permits the reintroduction of such controls when the Member States consider there’s a threat to their public and internal security.

Yet, the Code claims that such a move should be applied as a last resort measure in exceptional situations.

The scope and duration of reintroduced border control should be restricted to the bare minimum needed to respond to the threat in question. Reintroducing border control at the internal border should only be used as a measure of last resort,” the EU Commission says, commenting on the Code.

While in April 2022, seven Schengen countries were keeping border controls effective, the number has now increased after some countries have introduced new controls recently in a bid to deal with the number of Russian tourists and migrants transiting their territory.

At the end of last September, Czechia announced its decision to reintroduce border controls with Slovakia in a bid to prevent illegal migrants from using its territory to transit to Germany. While at first the measure was supposed to remain in place for only ten days, Czechia later extended the border controls with Slovakia until October 28 due to “ongoing threats of migration.”

Following this move by the Czech Republic, Austria has also introduced border controls with Slovakia, citing an increase marked recently in the influx of illegal migrants to the country. The same are also set to remain effective until the end of October.

>> New Rules on Reintroduction of Schengen Internal Border Checks