FECL 04 (March 1992):

DE FACTO ADHESION OF NORDIC NON-EC STATES TO THE CONVENTION ON EXTERNAL BORDERS?

In an answer to a question from an MP the Danish Interior Minister describes the effects of the Convention due to be signed by the twelve EC Member States in near future on the Nordic countries. The Danish Government appears to count on the willingness of the other Nordic countries, none of which are members of the EC or signatories of the Convention, to harmonize their external border controls along the lines drawn by the Convention. A case of informal "ad hoc adhesion"?

The signature of the Convention on the control of external borders was initially planned for last year. But a conflict between Britain and Spain on the status of Gibraltar has delayed the negotiations.

The Convention regulates common conditions of entry and border control (among other things common visa policy, control practices, common list of undesired aliens) on the external borders of the EC, very much on the lines of Schengen II.

The implementation of the Convention could theoretically pose problems for Denmark which has for a long time been a signatory of a Scandinavian treaty on the abolition of passport controls on the common borders of the Nordic countries.

The Scandinavian countries agreed in a meeting on immigration on June 13/14, 91 that the Scandinavian treaty would not prevent Denmark from carrying out its new obligations resulting from the signature of the EC-countries Convention on external borders. According to the Danish Minister of Justice this implies that persons entering EC territory via Scandinavia will be subject to border control in accordance with the Convention on external borders of the twelve EC countries also at the external borders of the Scandinavian Non-EC countries. According to the Danish Minister of Justice random checks at the internal Scandinavian borders will be intensified only if "contrary to expectation" the external border controls of the Scandinavian countries should prove to be less efficient than those carried out by the EC Member States.

This means that the Nordic Non-EC countries are willing to align themselves with EC border policies and thus indirectly with EC asylum and migration policies.

It remains to be seen wether this alignement will happen through the signature of the Dublin Convention (on asylum policies) and the Convention on external borders (which were limited to Member States of the EC until now) or if the Nordic Non-EC states will simply proceed with a de facto harmonization of their national policies along EC standards.

According to Christina Rogestam, director of the Swedish Immigration Board "Statens Invandrarverket", the EC has already offered Sweden to join the Dublin Convention.

Kristina Koppel

 

Sources: Notat om en raekke problemstillinger med relation til den politimaessige indsats in Danmark i förbindelse med en eventuell fraemtidig ophaevelse af politikontrollen vid den dansk-tyska landegraensen, Dansk Justitsministeriet, 1. Avdeling, 25.9.91, LBL/LBL - 22; SIVAN, 7/92, Statens Invandrarverket, Sweden.