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Germany slams Danish border control plan

The Local · 10 Jun 2011, 16:28

Published: 10 Jun 2011 09:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jun 2011 16:28 GMT+02:00

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The Danish parliament is set on to approve the plan which would introduce customs checks on the country’s land borders, a move which Germans and some in the European Union is an affront to freedom of movement in Europe.

A final decision was expected to happen Friday but has been postponed until next week after demands by the centre-left opposition Social Democrats.

Germany has argued that it would be a violation of the Schengen travel-free area, which allows movement without passport checks between member states.

This week Danish justice minister Lars Barfoed called criticism of the plan, “terrible nonsense,” after German Foreign Ministry official Warner Hoyer fretted about countries “playing with the fire of nationalism.”

The German ambassador to Denmark also joined in the fray, strongly criticizing the Danes and earning a strong rebuke from right-wing politicians.

"Denmark is aware of our criticism on their plan," said German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich while attending talks with European Union Counterparts on Thursday.

"We do not want to initiate a conflict with Denmark, but we will ask clear questions," he said. "We cannot accept that Schengen be undermined."

Denmark, where the populist far-right is an increasingly significant political force, announced last month it would re-establish controls on its borders stopping travellers in the case of suspicion of criminal activity such as drug-trafficking.

Story continues below…

It says the checks will not be a violation of European freedom-of-movement regulations, in part because passport checks are not being reintroduced.

The dispute comes as EU governments have been struggling with thorny questions surrounding immigration following instability in the Middle East. In particular, France has heavily criticized Italy for giving Tunisian refugees temporary visas in order for them to travel within the EU.

AFP/DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:46 June 10, 2011 by delvek
All things pass in time ...

10:10 June 10, 2011 by marimay
What is in Denmark? lol
10:56 June 10, 2011 by freechoice
cheap butter cookies and tulip sausages?
11:08 June 10, 2011 by lunchbreak
The germans must be really annoyed with the Danish for drawing attention to the german effort to ignore the huge immigration debate in the EU. German business wants cheap labor at any price and the Danes want to protect themselves. Will the Danish buckle to the pressure from their large neighbor next door?
11:53 June 10, 2011 by marimay
Mmm, tulip sausage.
12:05 June 10, 2011 by Jimberlin
"What is in Denmark? lol " -- Lots of blondes.. they tend to forget that are in EU.. duhhhhhh
12:11 June 10, 2011 by lunchbreak
They're not forgetting Jimberlin. Thats why they're trying to control their border.
12:38 June 10, 2011 by asteriks
Government in DK is little crazy, like in Germany before 50 years, they cut money for children but they spend money for border (36 million EUR). Crazy xenophobia.
12:43 June 10, 2011 by LancashireLad
Hmmm. Pot, kettle, black.

Was it not the Bavarians who recently mooted tightening control of the border with Austria to reduce the number of refugees travelling up through Italy?

Or does the German government not identify itself with Bavaria and vice versa? ("We are from Bavaria - it is near Germany" - Schwere Jungs)
12:55 June 10, 2011 by lunchbreak
Money for children and border control are two separate issues. Both are necessary, the latter increasingly so in today's world (EU).
13:25 June 10, 2011 by pepsionice
On three separate summers....I drove up to Denmark from Germany....for my two-week summer vacation. Between Frankfurt and Hamburg....it's one of the worst drives a human can imagine for a Saturday morning....with accidents and folks stalled. Once I cleared Hamburg....it was always a clear shot....easily driving over the border of Denmark.....and only two hours before hitting the beach house. If the Danes put up security.....you could be talking about an extra three hours at the border....waiting in line....to be cleared to go. I can't imagine this making Germans happy, and it'll harm future German tourism for years and years into Denmark.
15:40 June 10, 2011 by jg.
The Schengen agreement is not just about free movement across borders between Schengen member states. Members have also agreed to follow common rules as regards granting visas to third state nationals. Italy roundly ignored this when they issued temporary residency permits to a large number of people from North Africa - in the knowledge that many of them would then head to other Schengen states with more generous welfare arrangements. The EU didn't say anything about Italy's actions and have not addressed the underlying immigration issues, so it is a bit rich for them to expect other Schengen members to put up with the consequences.
16:00 June 10, 2011 by hanskarl
Go Denmark. You have your heads screwed on correctly. You have stopped wringing your hands and taken decisive action. The whole ideology and mentality of open borders along with other misguided ideologies is destroying Western Europe.
17:08 June 10, 2011 by marimay
Haha, I think open borders is the least of what is destroying western europe,
17:49 June 10, 2011 by Al uk
"Playing with the fire of nationalism" what utter crap! The smearing has started already.

Why is it so wrong to try to keep the scum out. Surely if that is what the elected parliament in Denmark wants then it is up to them.

The EU and the likes of Herr Hoyer should keep their noses out.
18:31 June 10, 2011 by McNair Kaserne
"Why is it so wrong to try to keep the scum out."

It's not. The Danes are doing the right thing. The rest of Western Europe should follow suit as rapidly as possible before they are further over run with others who do not intend to do anything but extract money from the German economy to send home and dilute it's national identity until it ceases to exist. The EU is the biggest fraud that has been perpetrated on the German people since National Socialism. Close the borders, pay free tickets home for those who belong elsewhere (leave your German papers at the counter on your way out please) and bring back the Deutsche Mark. Otherwise political correctness will be the death of the German people.

American fan of Germany
19:15 June 10, 2011 by MJMH
Just very quickly here is the reason Denmark is reintroducing the border . Denmark is the happiest, safest and equal rights for women place on earth. Life is fair. It was the first nation to give gays the right to recognized relationships and the first nation to outlaw slavery. People don't lock up their bikes even in København and many windows out in the country still don't have locks. Danes have always focused on quality of life and not quantity. Now (mostly) foreigners are changing or demanding change and accommodation for what they consider to be their rights. Will those advances and lock-free windows disappear. Danes don't want to give up what they have.

True the country has over a thousand year history which has given a sense of oneness.

I believe many other peoples (nations) feel the same thing about their country albeit for different reasons.

The EU is acting like a reform school instructor that demands obedience or threatens to punish. That why Danes and others are rethinking Brussels and open borders.

For the record Danes don't hate other Europeans or anyone else but believe Denmark is best just for the Danes. Given the chance and forgetting political correctness I believe many others feel the same way.

In a sense the Danes are the freest people because they don't care what others think.

Oh yes being Danish isn't just about cheap labor to fill the factories and hospitals either. That will be the downfall of the EU.
21:37 June 10, 2011 by armchairshrink
McNair Kaserne - Your sarcastic attempt to try to claim that xenophobia, "National Identity", and anti-immigrant sentiment is the opposite of National Socialism was not lost on me sir! Ha, Ha I say! Yep, those Nazis were ALL ABOUT multiculturalism and free movement between borders, and certainly were no fans of nationalism or national identity. Good one!
06:47 June 11, 2011 by belladons
All great comments. Denmark has identified the fact that Islamic extremist will do anything in its attempts to destroy democracy and capitalism as evident in the spread of Islamic extremism throughout Europe. Additionally, Denmark is taking action into its own hands, and telling the EU, "If you cannot control illegal immigration, we will." I applaud Denmark for doing the right thing. States in the U.S. are doing the same. Federal politicians all have a personal agenda, which also highlights the reason why the world is so jacked up the way it currently is right now. All anyone has to do is the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. If so, we all might be ok.
07:44 June 11, 2011 by freedom1776
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:33 June 11, 2011 by marimay
I feel bad for people who think Islamic extremists or immigrants are their biggest threat to democracy, they probably do not pay any attention whatsoever to what goes on in the EU parliament. Just as the people in the US are too stupid and busy blaming people from another religion while their government is the one taking their freedoms away.

10:19 June 11, 2011 by 9900lawre
The Schengen agreement has opt outs written into it which the UK and Ireland took, largely because of being sea locked. There are other EU countries written into the schengen agreement which are sea locked (e.g. Iceland) but still need passport checks to establish if you are from outside or inside the Schengen area. A check which purely establishes if you need a visa or not. The passport is an internationaly recognised method for being identified. The Schengen agreement only means you have permission to move freely not the right to leave your passport at home whilst going where you like without it. The Danish reagion mentioned is 90% sea locked and Denmark is allowed to exercise border checks there but then they are denied the ability to check the remaining 10% of border because it is a land border. A massive open back door. Fishing and sea going trade vessels are required to identify themselves and are subject to occasional checks by Customs and border controls. Equaly so are aircraft. So with all these checks elsewhere why get upset about about checks on land travel? None of the checked movements by sea and air have damaged the EU or it's tourism so why should the occasional land check?
19:21 June 11, 2011 by FIUMAN
I am amused by this. Did the Europeans Unionists think that what exists in the Western Hemisphere countries came for free or without strife? It took the United States 150 years and a Civil War to decide issues of cross-border sovereignty. From the outside the EU is a marriage of convenience that appears to be inconvenient at the moment. I will say this again, without a central European culture (what in the hell is a European anyway?) the only things really linking the EU together is the failing Euro dollar, the open border for trade (nice poison cucumbers, bean sprouts, tomatoes, etc) and easier internal EU travel. What did I leave out? Nothing! So the next time the Russians show up or perhaps an even bigger economic disaster than the present occurs the EU will not make it. With no one willing to become European each state will defend their land and culture to the detriment of the Union. It was nice but it is clearly coming to an end....damn and I still have 400 Euro in cash I haven't spent. I had better get back and spend that before it becomes worthless....
12:30 June 12, 2011 by LiberalGuy
Wow, after reading alot of the comments on here I didn't realise so many people had such close nit ties to the Danish govenrment that they could see through the story and find out the true motivations of the Danish in establishing customs checks on the border. After aall the story (and others reported on other media outlets) say that they are setting up customs checks on the land border to stop suspicious (not everyone) vechiles to aid against drug trafficking. I didn't read anything about stopping illegal immigration, stopping muslim extremists, and pulling out of the EU and Schengen. But luckily everyone on here is an expert and I was able to find out the true motivations of one of the most liberal countries in the world.
16:14 June 12, 2011 by Johnny Cash
Socialism, immmigrants love it. They can sit on their backsides and collect money. Not only immigrants. I was in Tenerife for 7 months in 1989. there were young scandis sitting on the beah for months at a time. I asked if they had rich parents. They said no , they were having their social welfare payments sent to them in the Canaries. Give people money with no work required and a lot of people will take advantage just like in Germany. The Danes have woken up, that's all. Go back to sleep Germany your government is in control. Here watch Germanys top model, Watch frauentausch ,watch football drink cheap beer and pay your increasing taxes and be happ you don't live in a third world country---yet
21:44 June 12, 2011 by michael4096
@LiberalGuy - you were obviously not paying attention or you would have also learned that the euro is failing (€1 = $1.43), that immigration is stealing all the jobs in Germany (33% less unemployment than the US and the UK) and that the EU is breaking bit-by-bit up daily.

Wake up and be eddykated!
23:48 June 12, 2011 by lunchbreak
Of course its all about drug trafficking LiberalGuy. And of course nothing about the number of Danish terrorism cases in the last few years including most recently 'The plan to try to gain access to a newspaper's offices and try to kill and behead as many people as possible, throwing the severed heads out of the windows to draw in the police' (Agence France-Presse). Heavens no! And even if it were all about the virtually unrestricted immigration in the EU it would be way too politically incorrect to say so. And of course drugs and immigration from Africa have nothing whatsoever in common. When will those Danish folks learn?

Now, it seems.
00:08 June 13, 2011 by MJMH
@LiberalGuy, the border controversy started with the Muslim cartoons. That is a fact. The rest of what was outlined by readers are what could be considered cracks in the EU facade. These small steps will allow Europeans to get rid of what was never wanted or voted for in the first place-a united Europe. Soon Germany will get on-board and the whole mess will come crashing down. There is more to being Danish or German than cheap labor and workers for factories. If you understood Danish and listened to the comments from all the political parties you would understand that these opinions were not made-up or made by imaginary ties to the Danish government. The border issue is just the tip of the iceberg that also includes taxes, the future and immigration. Start reading about the Prime Minister and what several of the other politicians really said about the subject. If you want to believe that the border checks are just about customs check go ahead. And if you think Denmark is liberal think again, perhaps it was. Soon Christiania will be closed. And why because foreigners have taken advantage of what Denmark had to offer and the fact that Danes have to pay more to support it. That is not liberalism.
04:59 June 13, 2011 by Theosebes Goodfellow
#s 4, 12, 16 & 19 have it right. Denmark doesn't have a problem with citizens from other European nations coming to Denmark, they just understand that they need to control their exposure to the MUSLIM problem other European states have.

Let's face it, Merkel, Sarkosy, Maria Anzar, Cameron and even Australia's Howard have all said "multiculturalism", (Euro politically-correct speak for allowing Muslims into Europe), "doesn't work". And now Germany is ticked at the Danes for not wanting to share the grief?

It is virtually impossible to fire a bad worker in France. How much harder will it be for them, or the Germans, Italians or Spaniards to deport their ever-growing Islamic squatters? These people came to Europe to escape the corrupt Islamic dictators back home only to import the cause of their woe with them. And as is normal Muslim fashion, they have become indignant that anyone question it.

The Danes have woken up to the fact that Europe is in the midst of a culture war. Brave, honest men and women like Geert Wilder and Ali Hirsi, once denounced as racist and "Islamophobes", are now getting the respect that they are due. Wake up, Europe, the enemy is at your gates. Denmark has figured this out, why can't the rest of you?
21:42 June 13, 2011 by LiberalGuy
MJMH well when I got married in Copenhagen six months ago it seemed quite liberal. I mean the two US lesibians who were in front of me to get married at the town hall were sprouting how good it is to have universal health care, and a free education after they moved to Copenhagen. Sounds pretty liberal to me. But hey what would I know...
01:03 June 14, 2011 by lunchbreak
Those are just the vestiges of a bygone era LiberalGuy. Lets give the Danes another look in 5 years, dollars to donuts all that free stuff will come crashing down. And very high on the list of causes will be immigration from outside the EU.
07:45 June 14, 2011 by LiberalGuy
lunchbreak, i'd give it more like 50 years. The Danes the personification of the 'European Socialism' Sarah Palin keeps warning about. I'm fine with that. To say the Danes are anything but Liberal is to say Regan was a communist. That's not an insult to anyone, that's just the facts on the ground.
13:18 June 14, 2011 by lunchbreak
They won't be the personification of european socialism in the future if these new border controls are any indication. The Danes might just be faster learners than you think they are.
16:53 June 14, 2011 by LiberalGuy
It's nothing to do learning. I love the Danes and their society, I think the rest of the world could learn a thing or two from their 'socialism'. I think all the anti immigration types are reading too much into this. Any who's spent any time in Denmark knows how tolerant and liberal they are, it would take more than 5 years to undo all that good work. And by the way, the fact that a newspaper can publish cartoons about Islam shows how liberal they are. I just think people should stop trying to assume the motivations of the Danes, cause frankly they made thier decision, they gave their reasons for it, and anyone who presumes otherwise is talking out their ass. It's just speculation nothing more.
22:22 June 14, 2011 by lunchbreak
What!? Publishing cartoons about Islam shows your LIBERAL creds? LOL. The Danes and their society are now trying to protect themselves from the assault by militant Islam on their culture as evidenced by the shocking attempt on one of their newspapers and you're trying to tell them to relax, multiculturalism is still OK? Good luck trying to persuade them to let down their guard of which these new border controls are certainly a part. If you can't see the forest for the trees try removing your rose colored glasses. If you then have trouble focusing here's a hint for you: it ain't the 1960s anymore.
22:01 June 15, 2011 by LiberalGuy
Lunchbreak, what a silly narcist view you have of the world. Militant islam. What is that? Could you explain it to me. There are 1.57 billion muslims in the world, how many are militant? hmm.... The problem with people like you is you seem to think that every muslim is out to get them. Everyone is a militant, when in fact most Muslims are just like you and me. Just trying to live their life. They don't care about you, or the USA or Denmark border controls. Stop looking in the mirror and relaise that the world is against you. They just don't give a sh!t.
03:06 June 16, 2011 by lunchbreak
They don't give a sh!t? Hmm. Just as an experiment, publish something that is unflattering of Islam or Mohammad and see what response you get. Get back to us about that, if you can.
10:17 June 16, 2011 by moistvelvet
"Germany has argued that it would be a violation of the Schengen travel-free area, which allows movement without passport checks between member states."

Really, so why do I have to show my passport to a German police officer when I fly to the UK and when I return?

Talk about throwing stones in glass houses!
12:54 September 6, 2011 by Rob99
We were recently travelling in Europe. There is active border control between Germany and Switzerland. Each car had to come to a halt. It is unfair to criticize the Danes for what they do.

Swiss seem to get away with anything quietly but there is ¦quot;slamming¦quot; of Danes by Germans who seem to tolerate the same border control in South.
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