Around 150,000 irregular immigrants, primarily from North Africa and the Middle East, were saved from the sea last year, while some 3,500 drowned, the United Nations estimates. Most of the refugees went ashore in Italy, prompting it to ask for EU assistance in resettling them.
Instead, Frontex will take steps to prevent people dying at sea by destroying vessels used by human traffickers to smuggle them into Europe. EU leaders will also encourage North African states to patrol their own borders, to stop refugees from making the dangerous crossing.
The draft is expected to be discussed in detail at the upcoming extraordinary summit of EU heads, announced on Monday by European Council President Donald Tusk.
It comes in the wake of a deadly shipwreck in the Mediterranean in which hundreds of people presumably died after a boat capsized off the Libyan shore. Only 28 people were rescued.