BRUSSELS — The European Union agreed Wednesday to set up a new border and coast guard agency to better manage migrant arrivals after more than a million people came to the EU in search of jobs or sanctuary last year.

The border and coast guard will be built up from the EU’s border management agency Frontex. It would establish a pool of 1,500 border guards and technical equipment that the agency could deploy to areas of extraordinary migration flows within about 10 days in times of need. Liaison officers would be stationed in all member states with external borders to monitor those borders.

“We urgently need a European border and coast guard to strengthen our joined external borders in a structural way. With better border controls we have more control over migration streams and we enlarge the safety of our citizens,” said Dutch Migration Minister Klaas Dijkhoff, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency and chaperoned the border guard plan through.

The EU hopes the scheme will strengthen external borders, which have proved porous particularly off the coasts of Italy and Greece, and ensure that Europe’s passport-free travel zone – known as the Schengen area – can function correctly.

If countries refuse to cooperate with the agency and it puts the EU’s border security in jeopardy, other EU nations would be allowed to reintroduce internal border controls.

The border guard would also help to return migrants not eligible to stay in Europe.

“This is not a silver bullet that can solve the migration crisis that the EU is facing today or fully restore trust in the Schengen area, but it is very much needed first step,” said Artis Pabriks, the lead EU lawmaker on the issue.

The scheme must still be endorsed by the full European Parliament, although this should be a formality.

In Austria, meanwhile, police are noting an increased number of human smuggling attempts in sealed trucks, with two cases involving a total of 10 people this week alone.