European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has urged member states to resettle Eritrean, Somali, Ethiopian and other refugees fleeing Libya.
"We need to show an element of solidarity. There are ... people who have nowhere to go and with this we will have to help, to resettle them," she said.
"Most of them would like to stay in Libya if the conflict ended tomorrow. That's where they had jobs and families. But if the situation escalates, we will have asylum seekers. If they come to Europe, we will have to offer them protection."
Nearly 400,000 people, mostly foreign migrant workers, have fled violence there for neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, where vast refugee camps have mushroomed in recent weeks.
Aid agencies have repatriated most of the Libyan refugees back to their countries of origin but several thousand remain and many more could be displaced if intense fighting continues.