Denmark Latest Country to Add Temporary Border Checks
PHOTO: The Oresund bridge, which spans the border between Denmark and Sweden. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
On Monday, Denmark’s government made the decision to add checkpoints along the southern border with Germany, increasing the number of countries in Europe's document-free travel area adding temporary border security.
According to Lorne Cook of the Associated Press, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Norway and France all have tightened up control of their borders through checks. While the countries are in the Schengen area—the European document-free travel zone—the European Union officials have deemed the temporary restrictions acceptable.
The European refugee emergency throughout the continent is considered an “exceptional event,” and any nation that fears for public safety can ask the European Commission—which supervises the Schengen rulebook—for approval to add temporary checks.
In a report from the Associated Press, the European Commission states that countries “can introduce checks for up to 30 days at a time for a maximum of six months. If they want to move faster and don't give enough notice, like Denmark, they can initially introduce checks for 10 days, then extend that for periods of up to 20 days for two months.”
The European Commission has approved increased security for Austria, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden, but it is still ruling on the decision made by Denmark Monday. No timetable was established to determine when the assessment of the situation would be completed.
All of the countries instituting security checks have justifiable reason to be concerned, as the European Union estimated 1.5 million people—classified as irregular travelers—crossed borders in the Schengen area last year.
With terrorist attacks in Paris and a massive flow of migrants across the continent, countries in Europe are doing whatever they can to ensure public safety for their citizens by temporarily increasing border checks.
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