The migrant invasion now convulsing Europe is forcing Nordic nations to turn on each other as they struggle to stem a human tide that shows no sign of slowing.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in Copenhagen on Saturday said she feared for Europe’s unity and urged neighbouring countries to shore up their frontiers in the face of the crisis.
Solberg pointed out that the Schengen zone of countries that guarantee borderlesss travel were most at threat and that divisions on how to best stem the flow were tearing at the fabric of European unity.
“The challenge for the Nordic region is not an internal one, but the fact that Schengen’s outer borders have broken down,” Solberg warned.
“We must now make sure that the outer borders work,” she added as Europe struggles to cope with its worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Schengen, which permits citizens of 26 states including non-EU member Norway to travel without passport formalities, is creaking under the strain of an unending flood of new arrivals with Germany, Austria and Slovakia reimposing border checks.
The flow is in defiance of the Dublin Regulation which identifies the Member State responsible for the examination of an asylum claim in the EU.
The regulation is intended to avoid asylum seekers travelling from one country to another or being able to abuse the system by the submission of several applications. The country in which the migrant first applies for asylum is responsible for either accepting or rejecting the claim and the seeker may not restart the process in another jurisdiction.
Germany’s actions guaranteeing Syrians immediate settlement encouraged migrants to cross Europe after landing in Italy and Greece before initiating asylum applications.
As Breitbart London has reported, Hungary has erected fences along its borders with Serbia as a result with promises to use military force to stop the country being used as a migrant freeway for people moving from their Mediterranean entry points to Germany and beyond.
Solberg, whose Conservative Party is in a ruling coalition with the anti-immigration Progress Party, echoed concerns over Schengen expressed by French President Francois Hollande on Thursday.
Speaking to AFP, Hollande said Schengen was “in danger” due to the absence of registration centres to distinguish between refugees and economic migrants as EU states seek to share out some 120,000 asylum seekers, most fleeing the war in Syria but now including economic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan amongst their number.
According to The Local, Solberg was commenting after a joint meeting with colleagues from fellow Nordic states hosted by Denmark.
Norway controls an external EU frontier with Russia, a border which has been crossed by more than 250 Syrian refugees so far this year.
Sweden’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said “all those who have the right to asylum should be given it. Those who do not have the right should be sent back.”
And Danish counterpart Lars Løkke Rasmussen agreed, saying: “Those who do not need protection should be sent back as quickly as possible.”
The crisis has sparked increasing disagreement between the Nordic states with Stockholm criticising Copenhagen for waving through some migrants to Sweden to make asylum claims.
Finland then criticised Sweden for doing the same in allowing a group of mainly Iraqi migrants to cross the border to make their own claims.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org