COPENHAGEN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Temporary Danish border controls, due to expire on Nov. 12, are being extended for another six months until May 12 next year, the Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration announced on Wednesday.
The extension of controls on borders between Denmark and its neighboring countries of Sweden and Germany, first introduced in January last year, was because of the migrant situation and the serious terrorist threat against Denmark, reported the Danish news agency Ritzau.
"A prerequisite for free movement is that there is control over Europe's external borders. And while we are currently experiencing low entry and asylum rates in Denmark, we must unfortunately note that there is still a great deal of pressure on Europe's external borders," Immigration and Integration Minister Inger Stoejberg said in a press release.
"At the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the serious terrorist threat against Denmark. The government has, therefore, considered it necessary that border controls be maintained so far," the minister said.
Stoejberg has informed the European Commission and other Schengen member states about the decision on Wednesday.
"The many failed, foiled and completed terrorist attacks carried out in EU Member States in 2016 and 2017 have demonstrated in all their horror that terrorist groups are likely to try to take advantage of deficiencies in our border controls," Stoejberg said in a letter to the European Commission.
"Crossing the external and internal borders of the Schengen area is part of their strategy, which often involves preparing attacks in one Member State from the territory of a neighboring Member State," she added.
Since Jan. 4, 2016, Denmark has carried out temporary border control in the Danish ports by ferry connection to Germany and at the Danish-German border as well as between Denmark and Sweden. However, the European Union migration commissioner announced earlier this year that the Danish border controls could not be extended after Nov. 12 because of the Schengen rules.
But since then, the EU Commission has opened the possibility for Denmark as well as other member states to extend control if it is justified in the terrorist threat.