BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union's top migration official says the EU wants to screen migrants in centers in northern Africa to see whether they are eligible for asylum and prevent people trying to enter Europe by boat.
Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said Thursday that the bloc wants to open "regional disembarkation platforms" in countries like Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.
Avramopoulos said "we would like significantly to intensify our cooperation with these countries." He said that in return they would receive "increased financial and material support."
None of the countries has yet agreed to take part.
The U.N. refugee agency says that around 40,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year, landing mainly in Italy, Greece and Spain.