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European Alternatives » Denmark: report from a closed Schengen border

Jackson Oldfield is a Senior Project Manager at European Alternatives, overseeing the Citizen Rights programme. He was denied entry into Denmark from Germany due to his British passport.

In his State of the Union speech yesterday, Jean Claude Juncker outlined his plan for EU member states to take in 120,000 extra refugees. Angela Merkel warned it might not be ambitious enough, the UK's David Cameron distanced itself from the mechanism, deciding to take a paltry 4,000 extra Syrian refugees a year, and the media kept criticising the ever criticisable Orban.

But, while overshadowed by Juncker, Merkel, Cameron and Orban, an equally divisive, dangerous and disturbing power play was unfolding in Europe's north: Denmark closed it borders. Or rather, it closed its borders to all but its citizens and residents and the residents and citizens of its nearest neighbours - Sweden and Germany.

This is both a personal and impersonal account - I should say I too was one of those travelling from Germany to Denmark yesterday, but with the wrong passport (British) - but actually this is not an individual or isolated situation, but rather one that challenges the whole idea of the European Union and something we should all be concerned about.

Why do I say this? First, the closure was apparently in response to Juncker's plan for refugees. The Swedish Government requested that Denmark stop letting asylum seekers directly through to Sweden and asked Denmark to instead process asylum claims in Denmark, in accordance with the Dublin rules. In a country where non-Danes have faced stigmatism from official sources for over a decade, the logical solution in the un-logic of xenophobia was for Denmark to close its borders.

by Katrin on Thu Sep 10th, 2015 at 05:44:08 AM EST
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