The Death of Schengen: Denmark Proposes to Make Border Controls Permanent

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Denmark will be looking to make temporary border controls in place since the 2016 migrant crisis permanent due to the threat of terrorism and mass migration, defying the European Union Schengen agreement.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Foreign and Integration Minister Inger Støjberg, and Morten Løkkegaard, a leading candidate for the European Parliament elections, have introduced the new policy saying that they would look to invest 50 million Danish Kroner (£5.9m/$7.5m) for research into technologies to aid border control, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) reports.

The governing Venstre party also announced that it would be seeking reforms to the European Union’s Schengen policy which allows open movement of people and goods.

“We have to face the fact that we need permanent border control. We face some challenges that have come to stay — migration pressures, cross-border crime, and the terrorist threat,” Prime Minister Rasmussen said.

“Therefore, as a nation state we need to take care of our borders, and therefore we must develop a new Schengen regime that gives us more political ownership over our own border,” he added.

Scanning technology was suggested as a way to keep a relatively open but checked border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland last year, with the European Union initially rejecting the idea but making some concessions to it last September.

Karin Axelsson, a correspondent for DR, noted that it would be difficult for the Danes to remain in Schengen and enact permanent border controls saying: “One cannot make permanent border controls and at the same time be a member of Schengen. So there will be a resounding no from the EU. There is quite a lot of opposition from several countries just to introduce temporary border controls.”

Denmark, along with neighbouring Sweden, enacted temporary border controls at the height of the migrant crisis in early 2016. Denmark has also looked to strengthen its border with Sweden due to the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.