Italy is to ask the European Union to set up refugee processing camps in Libya.
Under the Dublin Convention, refugees must apply for asylum in the first country of entry to Europe, a rule which Italy says is unfair as it struggles to accommodate the huge numbers of migrants arriving on the country's shores.
AFP reports that the EU is having difficulty achieving consensus for its proposed migrant distribution plan, under which 24,000 refugees would be taken in by other countries; Italy is hoping that an EU summit on 25-26th June will go even further.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (pictured) said the crisis "should not be underestimated."
"Let me be clear, Europe's answers so far have not been good enough.
"Redistributing just 24,000 people is almost a provocation.
"If Europe chooses solidarity, good. If it doesn't, we have Plan B ready. But it would first and foremost hurt Europe."
More than 57,000 migrants have been rescued at sea and brought to Italy so far this year, up from 54,000 at the same time last year.