After a few months after Swedish authorities closed the border, it is time to carry out a citizens test the crossing. For those who are not familiar with southern Swedish geography, the two countries are connected by a bridge, with the Swedish city Malmö on one side and the Danish capital Copenhagen on the other. Despite the fact that Malmö has its own airport, the Copenhagen airport is both closer and more frequented. Consequently, most airborne international traffic enters Sweden via Denmark. Before the ID checks were in place, this was as easy as landing in Malmö. The two cities have over the years grown together to one region, and the border has been free to cross since 1958. This has changed.
If you land in Copenhagen today, inbound from an international destination, your passport will be checked at the Copenhagen airport as usual, but after this, you’d better not put it away. Danish border check will check it again upon entering the train platform. Not even after you board the train you can relax. As soon as the train arrives on the Swedish side, the Swedish border check will again ask you for an ID, before you are allowed to continue.
Let us assume that you arrive from a country within EU with special restrictions, such as the UK, with an extra ID check before you even enter the plane, then we end up with the final count of four ID checks on the way between two countries in the same European Union, with its vision to promote free speech, trade and movement.
Is this the Union we stive to create?
NOTE: This article does not go into detail of the much more serious consequences for refugees and others without a valid ID, as this has been much debated in other forums. For instance, Swedish Radio has published an good investigative documentary on the border situation (in Swedish).