Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news Danish border controls break Schengen law: experts

Danish border controls break Schengen law: experts

— filed under: , , ,

(COPENHAGEN) - Denmark's decision to deploy permanent customs officers at its borders breaks the European Union's Schengen agreement, two Danish law professors said in an opinion piece published Wednesday.

"The Schengen border codex says directly that speed must not be reduced as a result of control facilities," Carsten Willemoes Joergensen and Karsten Engsig Soerensen of Aarhus University wrote in the Berlingske daily.

"When you see the pictures that have been published of the border facilities that are to be established, these clearly contravene Schengen."

The professors said they had compared the wording of Denmark's border agreement with that of the Schengen agreement.

"We are convinced that if the issue comes to the European court, Denmark will lose. It will not take much of a queue and waiting time at the border before the Commission will react," they wrote.

"Schengen does not differentiate between police and customs officers, it just says that there should not be personal controls at borders.

"Permanent facilities and the customs control exerted from these..." would thus break the Schengen agreement, the professors added.

Denmark deployed 50 new customs officers at its borders with Germany and Sweden on July 5.

The measure was part of a widely criticised government plan, hammered out under pressure from its far-right ally, to reintroduce permanent customs controls at border crossings.

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

The European Commission said it would closely monitor the deployment to ensure it did not violate the European Union's open border rules.

First signed in 1985 as a giant step towards European integration, the Schengen treaty has opened passport-free travel to 400 million people in 22 EU nations plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

It only allows states to reinstate border controls in case of security threats.

Document Actions