Government looking to renew visa agreements

The justice minister says amendments on the way to allow Schengen partners to process Danish visas

According to an email sent from justice minister Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne) to Politiken newspaper, the government is looking to change a law passed last year that left Denmark without consulates in 27 countries and counting.

?“The ministry is working on an amendment that will allow our Schengen partners to once again process visa applications for Denmark,” Bødskov told Politiken.

Holland is currently considering joining Germany, France and Finland in refusing to agree to DenmarkÂ’s demands that all applications for travel be sent to Copenhagen for review. That would leave potential travellers in New Zealand, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago with no way of seeking a Danish visa without travelling abroad, and bring the number of countries whose citizens are effectively banned from coming to Denmark to 30.

Last year the Immigration Ministry under Søren Pind (Venstre) changed the law that created co-operative agreements with other Schengen countries allowing those countries to process visa applications for Denmark under a common set of rules. The new law demanded that all visa applications be sent to Denmark.

When Germany and Finland refused to comply, the former VK government cancelled their consular agreements, ending DenmarkÂ’s consular representations in 15 countries.

France also objected and chose to dissolve its agreement effective January 1. That cancellation ended DenmarkÂ’s representation in 12 additional countries.

The Foreign Ministry has been expressing concern for months about the effects that the visa restrictions have had on tourism and commerce in Denmark.