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Denmark and Sweden extend border checks until November

Global Europe

Denmark and Sweden extend border checks until November

Danes demonstrate against their government's increasingly discriminatory immigration policy. Copenhagen, September 2015.

[Klaus Berdiin Jensen/Flickr]

Denmark and Sweden on Wednesday (1 June)  extended their border controls until November to curb the tide of migrants into their nations, saying the European Union still lacked security at its external borders.

Denmark received more than 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, a 44% jump from 2014 but significantly less than its northern neighbour Sweden, which registered 163,000 applications in the same year.

“In the current situation, where there still isn’t a sustainable solution for securing Europe’s external borders,” Danish Integration Minister Inger Stojberg said in a statement.

“I am glad that we now have the possibility to maintain border controls until at least 12 November,” she added.

Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said in a separate statement that his nation would do the same until 11 November.

Sweden introduced border controls in the south of the country in November last year amid a record influx of migrants.

Denmark followed suit with random ID checks on its German border on 4 January, just hours after Sweden began requiring rail, bus and ferry companies to verify the identities of people travelling from Denmark.

Denmark advertises how bad the country is to refugees

Denmark’s immigration ministry published advertisements in Lebanese media aimed at discouraging migrants from coming to the country.

In May the EU approved a six-month extension of border controls in the passport-free Schengen zone after nations, including Denmark and Sweden, wrote to complain the border situation remained “extremely volatile” and asked to be allowed to keep frontier checks.

EU rules say countries in exceptional circumstances may reintroduce border controls for up to two years, for periods of up to six months at a time.