The European Commission (EC) promised on Wednesday to ask EU members to give Spain more practical help to stop the rising inflow of illegal African immigrants.
A nine-week anti-illegal migration mission, coordinated by the EU's border agency Frontex, would be extended until December, EU Vice-President Franco Frattini said at a meeting with Spanish deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega in Brussels.
Frontex had previously scheduled to stop its mission to police the waters between West Africa and Spain's Canary Islands in September.
Fernandez de la Vega, visiting Brussels as part of a diplomatic campaign for more anti-illegal migration assistance, complained at the meeting that the EU support was too little and too slow.
"Controlling and securing a border requires more boats, more patrols and more coordination," she said after meeting EC senior officials for migration and external relations.
EU states have promised two boats, two aircraft and a handful of experts for the mission. Frattini said that the EC would deliver more boats and aircraft.
He also announced that the EC had decided on Wednesday to create a permanent immigration working group to coordinate work in this area.
According to Fernandez de la Vega, the viability of a Europe-wide marine surveillance system is on the agenda for the informal European summit scheduled for Oct. 20 in the Finnish city of Lahti, about 104 km northeast of Helsinki. The measure might be approved in December's formal summit.
Nearly 19,000 illegal migrants have landed in the Canary Islands this year, nearly 12,000 of whom have made their way into the Spanish mainland.