Germany says Europe’s system of passport-free travel across borders is in danger following Denmark’s decision to step up controls on its southern frontier with Germany.
“I think we all agree that the necessary measures that we have had to introduce should not be put in place longer than we need”, Johansson said.
Denmark and Sweden tightened their borders on Monday in efforts to stem the flow of migrants entering Scandinavia from Germany.
Lokke Rasmussen clarified that this does not mean an automatic rejection of applications for asylum, but a protectionist measure in response to the closing of Sweden.
He said 91,000 migrants and refugees had crossed the border from Germany into Denmark since September, of whom 13,000 had sought asylum in Denmark.
Travelers have been warned to expect long lines on the Danish side of the Oresund Bridge, a major entry point for migrants seeking a new life in Sweden.
Just hours after Swedish rules went into effect requiring train passengers traveling from Denmark to show ID, the Danish government announced it had beefed up border controls with Germany as of noon Monday (1100 GMT, 6 a.m. EST).
On Monday, Danish and Swedish authorities closely followed the traffic situation surrounding the Øresund bridge which connects the two Scandinavian countries and which 30,000 people cross on a daily basis.
A year of clampdowns on migration and terrorism has all but killed the idea of a borderless Europe where you could drive or train-hop from Spain in the south to Norway in the north without ever having to show your passport.
Faced by Europe’s largest migration crisis since World War II, several countries including Germany, Austria and France have taken advantage recently of Schengen rules allowing them to re-introduce border checks for up to six months in exceptional circumstances. Sweden took in over 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, the highest proportion per capita in the European Union, while Denmark has received just 18,000.
Denmark has imposed temporary identity checks on its border with Sweden.
“Member states must respect European Union law when they perform such controls and we are now examining the legal provisions of Sweden“, said a commission spokesperson.
Ole Schroder, German Parliamentary Secretary of State, told reporters: “Our problem at the moment in Europe is that we do not have functioning border control system especially at the Greece-Turkey border“.
German, Danish, Swedish and European officials blamed each other – and political leaders across the continent – for the refugee overruns that have led to the reintroduction of passport checks in northern Europe.
He echoed other German officials’ calls for a pan-European agreement on how to control the movement of migrants across borders.
A temporary fence is erected between tracks at the train station to prevent illegal migrants entering Sweden, at Copenhagen International Airport in Kastrup on December 23, 2015.
Here are some questions and answers about the security measures that have raised doubts about the future of free movement within the 26 nations that make up the Schengen area – named after the Luxembourg town where it was set up in 1985.
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