The head of Sweden’s border police has claimed that the damning border problems outlined in a leaked European Union report could take up to five years to fully address.
The EU report, entitled “Evaluation of Sweden in the field of management of external borders,” was leaked last month with several Swedish outlets publishing snippets of the document that harshly criticised the state of Sweden’s border protection.
Among the areas of weakness identified in the report was an inability of Swedish border agents to identify forged documents, and a failure to check for returning jihadist fighters. In the words of one Swedish newspaper, “there is no actual border control.”
The problems may be even worse, according to new information, with large parts of Sweden’s border policies being in conflict with EU rules and regulations, broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.
Addressing the EU report, head of the border police Patrik Engström claimed that it was easy to have hindsight when looking back at the problem but blamed the height of the migrant crisis in 2015 for causing immense disruption in the way the border was secured.
“It is of course extremely worrying and serious that we do not meet the Schengen requirements. But the focus for us is of course quite clear. It is clear that Sweden should comply with all Schengen requirements for external border control,” he added.
‘A Total Failure’: Sweden Has Europe’s Worst Border Control, Says EU Report ‘Hushed Up’ for Election https://t.co/XRPV9uMtoJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 18, 2018
While the report lists 95 problems with the country’s border policy, Engström said he had narrowed them all down to five main areas and when asked how long he thought it would take to fix, he said: “It’s hard to say. But it will probably take five years.”
Mass migration was a key issue in the Swedish election campaign this year with the populist Sweden Democrats winning a record number of seats largely due to their tough stance on the issue.
Some have noted that the timing of the leaked report came shortly after the election, though Social Democrat Justice Minister Morgan Johansson came out publicly claiming it had not been withheld.
The issue of border security has also affected Sweden’s neighbours with Denmark considering even tougher border controls last year due to the threat of radical Islamic terrorists who may be operating within Sweden. The fears may not be unfounded as Sweden is increasingly linked to more and more terrorist investigations across Europe.