Justice Minister John O'Donoghue has denied that he and his EU colleagues are drawing up plans for a fortress Europe to keep refugees out.
Speaking from a justice ministers' meeting in Stockholm, Mr O'Donogue said new measures being proposed are aimed at the criminal gangs who make billions of pounds from smuggling refugees into the European Union.
The minister said the exploitation of innocent people must be stopped with EU-wide measures.
"The main thrust of the meeting here today was not to create a fortress Europe but to give people who are refugees the opportunity of asylum within the EU," said the Justice Minister.
"We are also looking to ensure that the people making vast sums of money in trafficking human beings are prevented from doing so."