EU calls meeting as Sweden, Denmark increase border controls

European Commissioner for Migration calls meeting after Denmark and Sweden increase border controls to restrict refugee influx

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

The European Union called an emergency meeting on Wednesday between Denmark, Sweden and Germany over new border checks that have sparked concerns about Europe's Schengen passport-free zone.

The move came a day after Sweden enforced identity checks for the first time on its borders since the 1950s when a Nordic agreement on passport-free travel came into force.

EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos will attend the meeting in Brussels on Wednesday with Sweden’s Migration and Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, Denmark’s Integration Minister Inger Stojberg and Germany’s State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Ole Schroder, will also attend.

"The purpose of tomorrow’s meeting is to bring together [the] main actors involved in the situation," spokesman for the commission Margaritis Schinas told a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

"The Commission recognizes that the recent unprecedented migratory pressure – mainly to serious security threats and public order and such – could justify the reintroduction of border controls," the commission spokeswoman Tove Ernst told reporters.

"But member states must respect EU law when they perform such controls. We are currently examining legal provisions of Swedish law," she added.

More than 150,000 people have sought asylum in Sweden, which has the highest number of asylum seekers per capita among EU member countries.

Denmark is expecting up to 20,000 asylum seekers this year, according to its Immigration Ministry.

TRTWorld and agencies