He also suggested that inter-EU border and passport controls should be re-established to help manage the increased number of refugees traveling to Germany and to assist with catching criminals. Wendt told the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse:
"From a policing point of view, a return to border controls would be the best of all measures. Germany should not take the threat of bringing back controls off the table too readily."
Fears About Growing Tension
The comments are sure to raise concerns among EU officials, with fears that a return to border controls among Schengen zone countries will directly call into question the EU’s principle of free movement and further inflame tensions over Europe’s migrant crisis.
Europe previously abolished passport controls between the 26 Schengen zone countries — consisting of continental EU states and Switzerland — however there have been growing calls for stricter controls to be brought back as many countries have struggled to provide adequate resources and basic services for the influx of refugees.
The reintroduction of border crossings would also allow countries to refuse entry to refugees and turn them back to the country from which they first entered the EU, where they would then have to apply for asylum under.
However, critics have been vocal in their opposition to such laws, arguing that it is unfair on members states on the periphery of the bloc, with countries like Greece, Italy and Hungary ultimately forced to process a greater number of asylum claims.