BERLIN, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Germany will maintain controls at its national borders, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said at the European Police Congress here on Tuesday.
Germany reintroduced border checks in November 2019 to prevent illegal entry and re-entry into the country after a clan leader had illegally returned to Germany after his eviction to Lebanon.
As a result of the re-introduced border controls, "several hundred" people who were subject to an entry ban and twice as many people wanted on arrest warrants had been caught by officers at German borders, Seehofer said.
Seehofer stressed that the number of illegal border crossing attempts was of "a magnitude you would not believe" and reiterated his support for effective protection of the European Union's (EU) external borders.
As long as the external borders of Europe and the Schengen area were not effectively protected, "we must take a very close look at the borders to see who comes to Germany for what reason," Seehofer said.
He said he supported the "Green Deal" announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, but also stressed that a common European asylum policy was "at least as important for the future of Europe."
During Germany's Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of this year, Seehofer said his country will put European asylum policy and the exchange of data between security authorities in the focus of work and "make security a focal point."
The European Police Congress is the largest conference for internal security in the EU. It is held annually in Berlin at the beginning of each year.