Germany and some other EU countries are planning to ask the EU Commission for an extension of border controls within the Schengen passport-free travel zone for another six months because they fear a new wave of migrants.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizere's spokesman says a letter is being sent Monday asking for an extension of the controls on the German-Austrian border, which were implemented last year when thousands of migrants crossed into Germany daily.

De Maizere has expressed concern before that an increasing number of migrants will try to reach Europe this summer by crossing the Mediterranean Sea from lawless Libya to Italy, then travel north to Austria and Germany.

Germany registered nearly 1.1 million new arrivals last year and is keen to bring the numbers down in 2016.