Denmark has defended its decision to tighten border controls, insisiting this won’t contravene EU rules on the freedom of movement.
Speaking in Brussels, Danish Immigration and Integration Minister Søren Pind said: “This is to ensure that the darker sides of the very positive free movement do not strike as hard as they do, that we can try to get to trafficking, to people who smuggle drugs and so on.”
Critics, however, see any softening of Schengen, by way of stricter border checks, as an attack on one of the key achievements of European integration.
Copenhagen maintains it is sticking to Schengen’s principles.
“People can move from A to B within Europe without being hindered,” said Pind. “The other day I was myself in London, which is outside that part of the Schengen agreement, and I was waiting for one and a half hours in the airport. I mean, we don’t want to go back to those aspects.”
Our correspondent in Brussels, Sergio Cantone, says: “A lot of member states seem to want a watered-down version of the Schengen Convention. The Commission should be able to avoid the worst, but how? That remains to be seen. We will probably find out at the next European Summit in June.”