BONN, Germany (CN) – The European Commission called for Denmark to justify intensified border controls, saying a field visit had turned up implementation problems.
Denmark made the controversial announcement that it would step up control of its borders this May, apparently to combat illegal immigration and crime.
The Scandinavian country belongs to the Schengen Area, which guarantees freedom of movement among 25 European countries.
The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, last week sent experts to Denmark to assess the country’s border monitoring.
After meetings in Copenhagen and visits to Denmark’s borders with Germany and Sweden, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the mission failed to turn up adequate answers.
“There are persistent concerns about the compatibility of Denmark’s strengthened internal control measures with the freedoms provided under [the Schengen treaty],” Malmström said in a statement.
Denmark’s border monitoring lacks sufficient risk assessment, clear instructions to border officials and a structured reporting mechanism, the commission said Monday.
Danish authorities are reportedly in continued talks with the commission over the issue.
The European Union Schengen policy, implemented in 1995, abolished internal border controls and is an important principle behind formation of the EU.
As the Arab spring has caused waves of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East to flee across the Mediterranean, some EU countries, such as France and Italy, are questioning current border policies.