Denmark has decided to tighten its border controls with Germany, hours after Sweden imposed similar measures to deter refugees entering from Denmark.
Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen said the decision was “not a happy moment” but Denmark “must respond” to Sweden’s restrictions.
Danish police will carry out border spot checks for the next 10 days.
The two countries are the latest to impose controls in Europe’s Schengen passport-free travel area.
In a letter to the European Commission, Inger Stojberg, Denmark’s integration minister, said the controls would focus initially on the border with Germany but may be extended to all of Denmark’s borders.
Inger Stojberg said the measures taken by Sweden meant Denmark was “faced with a serious risk to public order and internal security because a very large number of illegal immigrants may be stranded in the Copenhagen area”.
The new controls would not cause a problem for “ordinary” Danes and Germans, Lokke Rasmussen said.
“We are introducing temporary border controls, but in a balanced way,” the prime minister said.
“If the European Union cannot protect the external border you will see more and more countries forced to introduce temporary border controls.”
Hungary’s government has declared a state of emergency at the Serbian border as tough new laws to stop refugees entering illegally took effect at midnight.
Hungarian police said they had arrested 60 people accused of trying to breach a razor-wire fence on the border with Serbia.
The state of emergency gives police extra powers and would allow troop deployments if parliament approves.
The EU states are facing a huge influx of refugees, many fleeing conflict and poverty in countries including Syria.
Meanwhile, Germany and Austria are calling for a special meeting of EU leaders next week to discuss the crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference that “this problem can only be solved together. It is a responsibility for the entire European Union”.
The EU’s border agency said more than 500,000 refugees had arrived at the EU’s borders in 2015, compared with 280,000 in 2014. The vast majority have come by boat across the Mediterranean.
A boat following the most popular recent route, between Turkey and Greece, sank on September 15 leaving 22 people dead, Turkish media reported.
Starting on September 15, the European Union has agreed to relocate 40,000 migrants from Greece and Italy to other EU states. However, it has yet to agree on mandatory quotas for a further 120,000 asylum seekers.
After the new Hungarian laws came into effect at midnight, police sealed a railway crossing point that had been used by tens of thousands of migrants.
Around midday there were tense scenes as hundreds streamed towards the fence, some searching for a way through and others starting a sit-down strike, throwing down food and water in protest at not being granted passage.
Hungarian authorities said more than 9,000 – a new record – crossed into the country before the border was closed on September 14. Some 20,000 crossed into Austria.
From September 15, anyone who crosses the border illegally will face criminal charges, and 30 judges have been put on standby to try offenders.
The laws also make it a criminal offence – punishable by prison or deportation – to damage the newly-built 13ft fence along Hungary’s 110 mile border with Serbia.
In order to deal with an influx of refugees, more EU states have said they are imposing border checks.
Slovakia, Austria and the Netherlands said they would tighten controls, hours after Germany imposed checks on its border with Austria.
Hungary also completed a fence along its border with Serbia, and blocked a railway line used as a crossing point.
Meanwhile in Brussels, EU interior ministers agreed in principle to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers.
Luxembourg, which holds the EU presidency, said the decision was expected to be made law when ministers meet on October 8.
There were no details on how the asylum seekers would be shared out among EU states. Some countries have opposed plans for mandatory quotas.
European countries have been struggling to cope with a record influx of refugees, many aiming for Germany.
In Hungary, a container wagon, with one end covered in razor wire, was rolled along the track to plug the gap in the fence near the town of Roszke. Refugees were directed to an official registration point.
Hungary is due to enforce tougher measures from midnight, including arresting illegal immigrants.PM Viktor Orban told Hungary’s TV2 a state of emergency was “likely” to be introduced in the border area.
The new border checks further north are a challenge to the EU’s Schengen agreement on free movement, although the rules do allow for temporary controls in emergencies.
Austrian police said up to 7,000 people had arrived from Hungary on September 14, and 14,000 on September 13.
Chancellor Werner Faymann said troops were also being deployed, primarily to provide humanitarian help within Austria, but would be sent to the border if necessary.
“If Germany carries out border controls, Austria must put strengthened border controls in place,” Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner said.
Meanwhile the EU approved a plan for operation in the Mediterranean to conduct “search, seizure and diversion… of vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling”.
Most of the refugees who surged into Hungary in recent weeks fled conflict, oppression and poverty in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea.
Many have been refusing to register in Greece or Hungary, fearing it will stop them being granted asylum in Germany or other EU countries.
On September 14, Germany’s new border controls were said to be causing traffic jams as long as 12 miles on highways in Austria.
Germany will introduce temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of refugees, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has announced.
Thomas de Maiziere said refugees could “not choose” their host countries and called on other EU states to do more.
Trains between Germany and Austria have been suspended for 12 hours.
Germany’s vice-chancellor has said his country is “at the limit of its capabilities” as more than 13,000 migrants arrived in Munich on September 12.
Germany expects 800,000 migrants to arrive this year.
“The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country,” Thomas de Maiziere told a news conference.
He gave no details. The move goes against the principle of the Schengen zone, which allows free movement between many European countries. However, the agreement does allow for temporary suspensions.
Germany’s rail service Deutsche Bahn said train services with Austria would be stopped until 03:00GMT on September 14.
Many refugees have been refusing to register in countries such as Greece or Hungary, fearing it will stop them being granted asylum in Germany or other EU states.
The city of Munich, in the German state of Bavaria, has taken the brunt of arrivals over the weekend.
Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer said the controls sent an “important signal”.
Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban, who has taken a tough line on the migrant crisis, told Germany’s Bild newspaper he welcomed the new controls, saying they were “necessary to protect German and European values”.
On September 13, the Czech Republic also said it would boost border controls with Austria.
Europe as a whole is struggling to deal with an enormous influx of people, mostly from Syria but also Afghanistan, Eritrea and other countries, fleeing violence and poverty.
On the same day, Greek coastguards said at least 34 people, including 11 children, drowned when a boat carrying about 100 migrants capsized off the island of Farmakonisi in the southern Aegean Sea.
Earlier on Sunday, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also economy minister, warned his country was being stretched to its limits by the new arrivals.
“It is not just a question of the number of migrants, but also the speed at which they are arriving that makes the situation so difficult to handle,” he told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Sigmar Gabriel also called on European countries, Gulf states and the US to give billions of euros towards schools, accommodation and food in refugee camps in the Middle East.
A steady stream of refugees is travelling from Greece, through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, to Austria and Germany.
Hungary is aiming to complete a 13ft-high fence along the border with Serbia by September 15, when tougher measures, including arresting illegal immigrants, come into force.
The European Commission announced plans last week for mandatory quotas to share out 120,000 additional asylum seekers among 25 member countries.
The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania are opposed to this.
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