Borders in Globalization Denmark – Germany

Martin Klatt and Isabelle Walther-Duc | BIG Research Reports | #29

The Danish-German border is short in comparison to other EU internal borders. Still it is relevant also as the border between the continent and Scandinavia, or the countries within the Nordic Council. The border’s history is conflict ridden. It was drawn in 1920, together with other new borders drawn in connection with the post WW-I order in Europe, reflecting (not only) the result of a plebiscite. The decades from 1920 to the 1950’s witnessed a bordering process with clear demarcation as well as the introduction of strict visa regimes and migration restriction, accompanied by the cut of economic flows and continued political challenges to the exact location of the border. Especially Denmark was interested in securing the border from possible German claims of revision. This changed only after Denmark joined the EC in 1973. Infrastructure investments as a freeway (opened fully in 1983) connecting the Jutland peninsula with the Hamburg metropolitan area and its seaport (2nd-3rd in Europe), the shorter “line as the birds fly” rail and road connection across Fehmarn-Lolland, disrupted by a 1 h ferry passage (1963), the introduction of frequent ferry services on the Rostock-Gedser route after German reunification (1990) and the planned fixed link under the Fehmarn Belt together with railway and road improvements on both shores (opening in the 2020’s) have made the region the major transport corridor between Europe and Scandinavia.

Martin Klatt and Isabelle Walther-Duc

Borders in Globalization Denmark - Germany