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Supreme Court of Denmark

Imprisonment of Romanians pending expulsion 

Case no. 167/2017-170/2017

Orders made on 19 December 2017   

A and others
National Police, Denmark

Imprisonment pending expulsion of Romanians who had set up camp in Ørstedsparken was lawful

In June 2017, four Romanian citizens agreed to be fined summarily for violation of the Danish Executive Order on Public Policy for having set up camp in the park Ørstedsparken with mattresses, duvets, sleeping bags and blankets. On the same day, the Danish Immigration Service decided to expel the four Romanians who had just arrived in Denmark. The case before the Supreme Court concerned the lawfulness of the civil imprisonment under the Danish Aliens Act.

The Supreme Court held that the Romanians’ conduct represented a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting fundamental interests of society. The regard for public policy, which is protected under Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 (the Residence Directive), and the violation at issue in this case in combination with the violations of the Executive Order on Public Policy and the rules on begging committed shortly before that time were not random nor had a limited adverse effect, but were rather regarded as being systematic behaviour on the part of the Romanians who were staying in Denmark to work as news vendors and bottle collectors. Since the Romanians had no ties to Denmark, it was not in contravention of the principle of proportionality in the Residence Directive to expel them and ban them from entry for two years. The Supreme Court also held that the imprisonment was necessary to secure the possibility of expulsion, as less intrusive measures were not sufficient based on the information on the Romanians.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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