A British media report says the executive body of the European Union will propose that the 28 member states share responsibility for housing thousands of refugees arriving in Europe from across the Mediterranean.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on May 13 will propose a "mandatory migrant quota system," according to a report in The Times.
The United Nations say some 60,000 people have already tried to cross the Mediterranean this year, with more than 1,800 migrants dying at sea -- a 20-fold increase on the same period last year.
The number of refugees sent to each country would be decided according to a "redistribution key" based on GDP, population size, unemployment rate, and past numbers of asylum seekers.
Currently, asylum seekers are the responsibility of the country in which they first arrive.
On May 11, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is due to ask the UN Security Council to permit the use of force against people traffickers operating out of Libya.