“We can’t separate Denmark’s announcement from the wider context of what we’ve been seeing the past few weeks”

Another example of domestic political pressure potentially impinging on the “European project”.  This time in Denmark, a member of the Schengen zone, where the government has announced the re-introduction of border guards and spot checks “designed to fight crime and illegal immigration”.

From the Wall Street Journal report

In Denmark, the issue of tighter border control has become a political bargaining chip. The governing center-right minority government, which consists of a coalition between the Conservatives and liberal-right party Venstre, wants to raise the retirement age, cut retirement benefits and enact other austerity measures. In exchange for signing off on the deal, the right-leaning Danish People’s Party has demanded the new border controls.

Danish Justice Minister Lars Barfoed, of the Conservatives, said the agreement will help enforce a needed crackdown on cross-border crime.

“Denmark should be a safe country, and we will do all it takes to fight the rise in cross-border crime committed in within our borders,” Mr. Barfoed said, adding that the government has ensured that the tighter border control is carried out within the framework of the Schengen agreement and won’t “impede the free crossing of borders by citizens and businesses.”

No doubt with an eye on the recent Finnish poll, and looking ahead to a Danish general election which must take place by November this year.

We’ve already seen the European Commission’s response to a call for reform of Schengen from France and Italy.

But as the WSJ report also notes

The Schengen zone includes 22 EU countries and three from outside the EU. Other countries in the zone, such as Sweden, Norway and France, already carry out spot checks, said Marlene Wind, a professor at Copenhagen University.

Wednesday’s announcement was “just oversold to cater to the electorate of Danish People’s Party,” she said. “Unfortunately, it also sends a signal to the outside world that Denmark is a small provincial village that wants to be left alone.”

Although, an “oversold” policy is unlikely to placate a disaffected electorate.

And that’s before we reach the real “squeaky bum time in government buildings all over Europe.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • joeCanuck

    Pete,

    As you suggested in a recent blog, the whole European experiment is teetering. That would be a pity. The greatest achievement has been the absence of a European war for a longer period of peace that has occurred in the past 2000 years.

  • HeinzGuderian

    This Euro Zone,Super State is coming apart at the seams,it seems.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Serbia,Croatia,breakaway Russian Satellite States………….no need for a European Super State that nobody but Germany and France actually want,to bring peace to Europe !!

  • lamhdearg

    joe
    between 1945 and 1973, we had no european war, we also had no centralised eu goverment, i dont think we need one to stop war in europe.

  • joeCanuck

    lamhdearg,
    You may not know that the father of the EU was the Coal and Steel pact in the early 50s between Germany and France. That was designed to make those two countries totally dependant economically that another major war would not be feasible.

  • lamhdearg

    joe
    i did know that (i learned it looking up the eu’s big date’s 10 mins ago),

    [The topic? – edited moderator]

  • Framer

    Yeah and Germany and France agreed to respect the 1945 frontiers. Just like Ireland.

  • lamhdearg

    edited
    was it the p***o word?

  • Alias

    Joe, that is a europhile myth. The division of Germany after the end of WW2 put an end to that country’s warmongering in western Europe, as it was designed to do. That had zero to do with the EEC/EU since it predates it. Further, the invention of nuclear weapons and the growth of the two post-war superpowers, the US and the USSR, the issue of wars between the French, Germans and English became history.

    In reality, the unification of western Europe into a single state will cause war, not prevent it. The EU will have its own army, and it will use that army to further its expansionist agenda. When that unified political antity occurs, all of the states within western Europe will become involved in the EU’s wars whether they want to or not. So you will be signing up your (great) grandchildern to fight for the expansion of the EU’s territory and you will also be subjecting them to terrorism from the nations within western Europe who will seek freedom from colonial occupation by violent means.

  • joeCanuck

    I don’t accept your theory, Alias. You are promoting a futurist conspiracy theory. The big challenge for all the developed countries is (illegal) economic migration. I am in favour of greater acceptance of such migrants, but hopefully through a controlled process; they bring a wealth of hard working determination, not to mention the cultural diffusion. Canada certainly benefits from it.

  • Harry Flashman

    Alias is absolutely correct the EU has had diddly squat to do with the outbreak of peace between Germany and France (that’s what the previous European wars were mainly about). The complete defeat, division and occupation of Germany by the victorious Allied armies and the bankrupt and defeatist nature of France are the causes of that peace. There is unlikely to be a future war between those two nations as there populations age and dwindle and anyway what on earth would they fight about?

    As I recall a half century of peace reigned in Europe after Waterloo and I don’t think the EU can claim any credit for that.

    As to immigration being of great benefit to a society well the answer like the curate’s egg is yes, in parts. No one could deny that an influx of nuclear physicists, brain surgeons, nurses, millionaires, sport stars, artists, teachers or engineers would be of great benefit to a society but they’re not really the sorts of people who, on the whole, are immigrating into western Europe, are they? They aren’t the kinds of immigrants that people are complaining about either.

    It’s time for a massive dose of reality when it comes to the immigration debate I think and it’s clear that such a re-think is occurring, it will certainly be a welcome change from the usual liberal blether about the marvellousness of a wonderfully multi-cultural society.

  • joeCanuck

    People have been migrating for hundreds of thousands of years. Was that a bad thing? Passports have been around only for a couple of hundred years. Apart from the Doctors etc some of the immigrants do jobs that the indigenous folks won’t touch. I don’t know about the UK but over here we have foreign qualified doctors, engineers etc driving taxis. I have met a few. We are slowly setting up arrangements to re-qualify some of these people; meanwhile 1/3 of the population do not have a family Doctor and have to spend hours clogging up hospital emergency rooms when they are sick.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Concern over immigration is but one of the challenges facing the “Eurpoean project”.

    The fact that it’s the focus of domestic political pressure in some countries shouldn’t detract from the main concern for supporters of that project.

    And that’s the disconnect, the disaffection, evidently increasing in states across Europe.

  • damon

    Interesting programme on Radio 4 this evening.

    ”Simon Cox investigates how the conflicts in Libya and Tunisia have sparked a controversy in Europe that could threaten the EU’s fundamental principle of open borders and how it deals with migration.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jkr1q

  • Harry Flashman

    “Apart from the Doctors etc some of the immigrants do jobs that the indigenous folks won’t touch.”

    Tell me, how did we drive taxis and clean toilets before the immigrants arrived? Do you think if there were no immigrants there would be no taxi drivers and all our toilets would be filthy? Of course not, those jobs would still be done they would merely be done by people who got a decent wage for doing so.

    Japan has zero immigration, it is a wealthy, well-educated society and the last time I visited the toilets all seemed to be spotless and there was no shortage of taxi drivers.

  • joeCanuck

    There have always been immigrants. They didn’t just appear out of the blue at a recent point in time. I don’t know much about the Japanese apart from the fact that they were once fanatical about doing what the “elders” told them to do.

  • Harry Flashman

    “There have always been immigrants.”

    Indeed there have and with very few exceptions mass immigration has almost always caused a great deal of trouble for the original inhabitants. The myth of happy melting pots is just that; a myth.

    Usually the people who were the indigenous inhabitants get shafted and the divisions created in countries which experience mass immigration cause deep and lasting societal and political problems and conflicts that last for generations. From South Africa to Brazil to Fiji to Northern Ireland to the United States to Israel to western Europe the sudden vast influx of foreigners into a geographical location already inhabited by others have led to massive upheaval, social problems and ethnic conflict.

    If mass immigration is such an unalloyed joy and of such great material benefit to societies why is it that the areas predominantly inhabited by immigrants are invariably the most deprived, squalid, backward, socially divisive, poor and welfare dependent in any given society?

    It’s a simple fact of life that no developed society ever got richer by importing poverty and ignorance from the Third World, that one should have to state such a blindingly obvious fact shows just how endemic the liberal blether that surrounds mass immigartion has become.