Sweden and Denmark introduce border controls amid refugee crisis

Security staff at a station outside Copenhagen
(Image credit: BJORN LINDGREN/TT/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe's borderless travel suffered yet another blow Monday when Sweden and Denmark increased border security amid a historic surge in refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East. For the first time in more than 50 years, travelers entering Sweden from Denmark will be required to show a photo ID. Denmark will also now require travelers from Germany to show a valid passport upon entering the country, a first since the countries entered Europe's Schengen Area in 2001.

The move, which The New York Times reports comes amid heightened concerns about the "economic and security risks posed by the tide of migration," comes as a surprise — and a source of contention — as both Scandinavian countries have long been known for welcoming refugees. Former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt panned the move, which will add an additional hurdle for migrants seeking asylum, as a "dark day for our Nordic region."

Sweden's new legislation is valid for three years, while Denmark's is in place for 10 days with the possibility of renewal for another 20 days.

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