EU sets aside $587m for plan focused on resettling vulnerable people from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia.
The European Commission has unveiled a new plan that would allow for 50,000 refugees - mostly from a host of African countries - to be resettled to Europe over the next two years.
The proposal on Wednesday by the European Union's executive branch involves admitting asylum seekers under the bloc's resettlement programme, which was introduced at the height of a major refugee crisis in 2015.
"We need to open real alternatives to taking perilous irregular journeys," European Union Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a news conference in Brussels.
The commission said that it had set aside 500 million euros ($590m) to support the resettlement effort. Member states will be free to participate in the scheme on a voluntary basis.
The EU's executive arm said that while resettlement from Turkey and the Middle East is to continue, an increased focus should be put on resettling vulnerable people from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia.
"Europe has to show that it is ready to share responsibility with third countries, notably in Africa. People who are in genuine need of protection should not risk their lives or depend on smugglers," Avramopoulos said.