• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Border checks
Nordic asylum claims drop after border moves
Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland have all seen their asylum numbers decrease. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

Nordic asylum claims drop after border moves

The Local · 22 Jan 2016, 08:09

Published: 22 Jan 2016 08:09 GMT+01:00

The Danish government implemented spot checks on its border with Germany on January 4, the same day neighbouring Sweden began requiring photo identification from all passengers on trains, buses and ferries from Denmark to stem the migrant influx.
 
After rising slightly for two days, the number of asylum seekers has steadily decreased from a daily average of about 100 to just 17 on Wednesday, according to the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen).
 
Denmark's integration ministry and the Danish Red Cross, which runs most of the country's asylum centres, declined to comment on whether the fall was due to the border controls.
 
 
"There may be fluctuations, especially during winter when the number typically falls," the head of the asylum department at the Danish Red Cross, Anne la Cour Vagen, told the daily Politiken.
 
"But we didn't see that before Christmas and it's very hard to know why we have a low number right now," she added.
 
Norway received just over 200 asylum applications in the first two weeks of 2016, down from a peak of 2,500 per week in November, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
 
Oslo introduced spot checks on its border with Sweden and on all incoming ferry arrivals on November 30 and has also begun sending back migrants entering the country from Russia if they have valid Russian residence permits or visas.
 
 
Sweden, until recently known for its generous asylum policies, has seen numbers drop from a weekly peak of nearly 10,000 in October to current number of only about 100 per day, according to the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket).
 
"Last fall we found ourselves in a situation were it was unsustainable and we had to take measures to reduce the number of asylum applications," said Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
 
Sweden introduced border controls on November 12 and the number of arrivals fell, and then dropped even further after migrants, beginning in January, were forced to show ID on trains, buses and ferries entering the country.
Story continues below…
 
 
The Scandinavian country was among the European countries that received the largest number of migrants in 2015 in absolute numbers as well as per capita, with 163,000 asylum applications recorded in the country, which has a population of 9.6 million people.
 
Finland received 615 asylum seekers between January 4 and January 20, according to the Finnish Immigration Service. The number began to drop in November, from over 800 a week before Sweden introduced its border controls.
 
Indeed, the European Union's cherished passport-free Schengen area has come under huge strain, as many countries have reintroduced border controls to deal with the flow of migrants trying to reach the wealthy Nordic region from the main landing point in Greece.

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Today's headlines
Norway’s royals apologize after old lady knocked over
The incident happened while King Harald and Queen Sonja were hiking in Bodø. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

The Royal Court has apologized for what witnesses say was "unnecessary and aggressive behaviour" that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

Norway no longer world's best country: report
No longer number one, but still pretty darned good. Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

Norway fell from first to seventh place in a new life quality report.

Brexit
Norway won't commit to UK joining EFTA
PM Erna Solberg was in Brussels on Tuesday to meet with other Conservative leaders. Photo: Johan Falnes / NTB scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Tuesday she has not concluded whether a British membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) would be good for Norway.

Mass brawl breaks out at Norway asylum centre
The Forus asylum centre in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB scanpix

A rejected asylum seeker was arrested early on Tuesday after a fight involving up to 20 people.

Brit held for throwing pie at Norway's equality minister
The woman accepted the court's judgement but denied having planned the pie attack. Photo: Erik Fosheim Brandsborg / NTB scanpix

A British woman will be held on remand for for weeks for attacking Norwegian Equality Minister Solveig Horne with a cream pie.

Brexit
Iceland president: Brexit is good news for Norway
Iceland president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, shown here in 2008. Photo: Kyrre Lien/NTB Scanpix

Iceland's long-time president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson says that Brexit can give Norway and other northern countries a more important role.

Oslo court rejects Edward Snowden lawsuit
Edward Snowden speaking via satellite as he received the Bjornson prize in September. Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix

The Oslo District Court on Monday rejected American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawsuit to prevent his potential extradition.

Video
VIDEO: Norwegians set world record for largest bonfire
The bonfire was measured at 47.4 metres. Photo: Runar Andersen / NTB scanpix

See stunning video of the world's tallest bonfire going up in flames as Norway celebrated midsummer.

Brexit - Opinion
Norwegian in London: 'Brexit is dreadful for the UK's unity'
Commuters cross the London Bridge on Friday. Photo: DANIEL SORABJI/Scanpix

Welsh-Norwegian reporter Sunniva Davies-Rommetveit writes that Brexit leaves her fearing a new isolationist UK.

Norway enjoys one of world's 'best reputations'
Despite a fall from second, Norway still enjoys one of the world's best reputations. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Norway tumbled three spots in a new report ranking the most reputable countries in the world.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
2,034
jobs available