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Sweden carries out millions of border controls

Published tisdag 21 mars 2017 kl 09.30
Border police: There is reason to maintain the high level of control
(2:23 min)
Border controls at the Öresund Bridge
The temporary border controls at the Öresund Bridge began in November 2015. Credit: Erland Vinberg/TT

Out of the EU countries with temporary permission to carry out internal border controls, Sweden by far carries out the most ID checks.

But out of the millions of checks, only 300 per month involved asylum seekers, half of whom applied for asylum on the spot.

When Swedish Radio requested border-control figures presented by Sweden to the EU, it turned out that 3.2 million ID checks were carried out last summer, which is eight times higher than Germany’s figures.

Swedish police check practically every vehicle crossing the Öresund Bridge, while the other countries that have permission to carry out controls only do spot checks.

In spite of the millions of border controls, the police only encountered around 300 refugees and migrants each month. Both Denmark and Germany caught more refugees and migrants at their inner border controls.

Patrik Engström, head of the Swedish border police, told Swedish Radio he thought the high number of border controls was motivated, in spite of the police lacking resources.

“Yes, our assessment is that it’s motivated. It’s also the case that in order to carry out these checks, the government has assessed that there is still such a threat that the border controls should remain. We share the government’s assessment, which means we believe there is reason to maintain the high level of control,” Engström said.

Sweden, Norway Denmark, Germany and Austria were granted temporary permission by the Council of the European Union to carry out internal border controls following the 2015 wave of migrants passing through Europe. In return, they must present statistics on the extent of the border controls to the EU.

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Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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