Danish, Swedish, German officials to discuss border controls with EU

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is to hold talks Wednesday with Danish, Swedish and German officials on the reintroduction of border controls between their countries in response to heavy migration flows, a spokesman announced.

Sweden, alongside Germany, is one of the main destinations sought out by migrants and refugees entering the European Union. The bloc is experiencing its biggest population flows since World War II, with more than a million arriving in 2015, many from war-torn Syria.

On Monday, a Swedish law came into effect requiring transport operators to check the identity documents of passengers travelling to Sweden, in order to better manage the arrivals. Copenhagen in turn introduced temporary controls along its border with Germany.

The countries are all members of Europe's Schengen area, in which citizens can normally travel without undergoing border controls. Checks can be temporarily reintroduced under clearly defined exceptional circumstances.

Swedish Migration Minister Morgan Johansson, his Danish counterpart Inger Stojberg and German State Secretary of the Interior Ole Schroeder have been invited to Brussels to discuss the measures taken, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Tuesday.

"The aim of this meeting is to improve the coordination between the countries concerned, in order to ensure a better management of the migratory pressure," Schinas added.

The commission said that, following an initial analysis, Denmark's reintroduction of border controls for an initial 10-day period appears to be in line with Schengen rules.

Danish police said Tuesday that 18 people had been denied entry from Germany since the border controls came into effect.

Police said an estimated 1,100 people were subjected to spot checks at some of the country's 15 border crossings to Germany during the initial 12-hour period, from midday Monday to midnight.

Media reports suggested that at least five border crossings were unmanned.

In addition, three arrests were made over suspected trafficking, Danish police said.

The Danish Immigration and Integration Ministry, meanwhile, said 75 applications for asylum were registered on Monday, according to preliminary figures.

Since early September, some 91,000 people have arrived in Denmark from Germany, of whom 13,000 applied for asylum in Denmark. The others continued to Norway and Sweden, according to Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

Last update: Tue, 05/01/2016 - 17:04

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