From today there will be more customs officials on duty in Denmark as the country beefs up its border controls.
It comes after the governing coalition agreed the measures with the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, ahead of this year’s election.
But officials have promised the new controls are not about identity.
Denmark’s minister for taxation, Peter Christensen, says it is about customs, not passports. “I don’t understand the criticism,” he added. “I am all for European co-operation, but I don’t think smuggling should be allowed.”
The Danish government says it is within its rights to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and what it calls “brutal crime”.
But the Danish decision has angered Germany, its southern neighbour and has stirred up debate about free travel in Europe.
The EU Commission has also warned Copenhagen against breaching the Schengen agreement, Europe’s policy of open internal borders.