European Union leaders agreed Thursday to pursue the cooperation of countries in North Africa and to beef up the bloc's external borders to stop large numbers of migrants from entering Europe.
A statement from an EU summit in Brussels where the leaders of member countries discussed migration emphasized the need to work with the countries that Europe-bound migrants depart from or travel through.
Working with those countries on "investigating, apprehending and prosecuting" smugglers and traffickers that take refugees and economic migrants on dangerous journeys by land and sea "should be intensified," the leaders said.
Well over 1 million migrants entered Europe in 2015, most of them Syrians and Iraqis fleeing conflicts in their homelands. The number of arrivals dropped significantly after the EU struck a deal with Turkey to stem the influx.