The impact of the refugee crisis on Europe’s open borders

The year 2015 was the year Europe felt “swamped” by refugees and other migrants. It was also the year border-controls were re-imposed – officially only temporarily – across Europe.

On Monday Sweden imposed ID checks on those crossing from Denmark, especially on those coming by train bus, or ferry. Deputy CEO of southern Sweden’s Chamber of Commerce reacted,  “The commuting system is the blood system of a metropolitan economy,” he said. “It will stop the blood flowing.”

The Oresund Bridge is Europe’s longest road and rail link. As such it has been touted as a poster boy of EU unity and of passport-free travel through peaceful post-war Europe (amongst the member countries of the borderless Schengen agreement).

No longer. Sweden says it has imposed the controls to limit illegal immigration. Public services have become compromised after Sweden received more migrants (refugees and others) per capita than any other European country in 2015.

Denmark reacted to the Swedish move today by imposing controls on its border with Germany. Again, migrant-related but almost inevitably also politically motivated.

Germany then reacted by declaring that Schengen [the 1985 European treaty that provided for the removal of border controls between participating countries] could well be doomed.

[BBC]

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