The European Commission has denied helping smugglers in Libya, following a deadly Pylos shipwreck near Greece that reportedly sailed from the Tobruk area of the north African state, EUobserver reported.

"We are not helping smugglers in Libya. We are fighting against smugglers," Eric Mamer, the European Commission chief's spokesperson told reporters in Brussels on Friday.

The comment came as the European Union continued to step up cooperation with a Libyan authority accused of colluding with smugglers and traffickers.

An internal document, dated 9 June and seen by EUobserver, is now pressing the EU to extend the mandate of its border mission to Libya (EUBAM) by another two years. This includes "enhancing the capacity of the relevant Libyan authorities and agencies to manage Libya's borders".

The document and Mamer's comment also came despite a UN special report out earlier this year that accused high-ranking officials in the Libyan Coast Guard and its department of combatting illegal migration of working with traffickers and smugglers.

The same report said the European Union and its member states, directly or indirectly, provided monetary, technical, and logistical support to the the Libyan Coast Guard that was used in the context of interception and detention of migrants.