Tunisia's prime minister says a European Union proposal to destroy boats used by smugglers to ferry migrants to Europe from Libya probably won't work and is risky because it is similar to military intervention.

Prime Minister Habib Essid told reporters Friday during a visit to Lisbon that authorities must fight the root of the illegal migration problem by helping raise living standards in the countries the migrants come from.

He said intervention to destroy the rickety boats before they cross the Mediterranean "is considered by Tunisia as almost a military intervention."

He added he doesn't "think the problem will be solved" through such actions.

The majority of migrants travel from Libya to Italy. More than 1,800 are believed to have died or gone missing at sea this year.