Refugee Crisis

Nordic Border Closings Cause Domino Effect

Danish border-Reuters
Denmark is the most recent Nordic country to introduce border controls.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Amid concerns posed by the flood of refugees from the south, the moves by the north European countries add to fractures confronting the policy of borderless travel in much of the European Union.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Danish police are conducting spot checks.
    • Finland and Norway have also imposed border controls.
    • In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects call for a limit on the number of refugees entering the country.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The reaction was expected: Denmark introduced passport controls on Monday afternoon for travelers arriving from Germany, reacting after Finland, Norway and Sweden moved to tighten their own border controls to reduce the influx of refugees.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark justified the measure by referring to the decisions by the other Nordic countries. “We don’t want to see people marching on our highways again; law and order must prevail,” he said.

In contrast to the border control measures in Sweden initiated Sunday evening, the Danes will hold only random checks on their border to Germany over the next 10 days. And they will not be conducted by transportation companies, as in Sweden, but by the Danish police.

The measure has came under criticism in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has repetedly rejected calls to end an open-door policy towards more than 1 million asylum seekers coming into the country.

There are also increasing fears that the move by Nordic nations could spell the end of the Schengen system of open borders between most European countries.

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