FECL 52 (December 1997):

SCHENGEN IMPLEMENTATION IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES POSTPONED DUE TO COMPUTER PROBLEMS

The Nordic countries had originally hoped to join Schengen cooperation in 1997. According to the prevailing time table, Sweden, Denmark and Finland were to fully apply the Schengen agreement in 1999. The new postponement is due to the limited capacity of the Schengen Information System, and is expected to delay Schengen implementation by at least a year.

This means that the abolition of internal border controls in the countries concerned will be delayed accordingly.

The announcement of the postponement has caused some irritation in Scandinavia, especially since no binding time-limit for the begin of Schengen application has been given. The prevailing uncertainty is causing problems for Customs and air traffic authorities, which find it hard to adapt to the new Schengen procedures without being given a deadline.

In Sweden, the airports of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are currently being converted for an approximate 600 million Swedish crowns in order to be able to separate "Schengen" passengers from non-Schengen passengers.

It is even more unclear, when the two Nordic non-EU states, Norway and Iceland, will join Schengen, since the integration of Schengen into the Amsterdam Treaty requires new negotiations on the two countries' position in such a framework of cooperation.

 

Source: Svenska Dagbladet, 8.10.97