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Denmark to re impose border controls ‘but in line with Schengen’

Denmark plans to re impose border controls while sticking to the rules of the open-border Schengen Agreement

Published: Updated:

Denmark plans to re impose border controls while sticking to the rules of the open-border Schengen Agreement, the country’s new foreign minister told his German counterpart on Tuesday.

“We will suggest something that is within the Schengen rules and there will be a dialogue with Brussels and the EU Commission, but also with our neighboring countries,” Kristian Jensen told Danish news agency Ritzau after meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.

The Danish foreign ministry confirmed the report. The move is aimed at combatting illegal migration and smuggling.

“There won’t be a border barrier and it’s not... on the border. There will be checks in the border areas,” foreign ministry spokesman Lars Peter Levy told AFP.

Denmark’s new right-wing government took power on Sunday after unsuccessful coalition talks with the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP), which became the largest party on the right in this month’s election.

But to pass legislation in parliament the narrow minority government will need the backing of the DPP, which wants to reintroduce border controls to combat illegal immigration and smuggling.

In 2011 another right-wing government placed permanent customs controls at Danish borders but the move was met with harsh criticism from the EU Commission and Germany and was dropped by the center-left government that was ousted this month.

Denmark is a member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone, which means that once migrants have arrived in the country they can travel freely elsewhere in the other 25 nations in the bloc.

France’s top administrative court said Monday that border controls on migrants at the Italian frontier were legal and did not violate the agreement.