Interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, told a press conference in Berlin that “this step has become necessary.”
“The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country.”
Asylum seekers must realize “they cannot chose the states where they are seeking protection,” he told reporters.
The new procedure is a blow to the Schengen agreement, which guarantees the right of free movement across the borders of EU member states.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker noted that Germany’s extraordinary measures fall “within crisis rules” of the agreement, but urged a return “to open borders as soon as is practical.”
Only EU citizens and others with valid documents would be allowed to pass through Germany’s borders, de Maizière said.