Italian warship was able to pick up 52 migrants from a sinking rubber dinghy in the Mediterranean, but about 50 others are missing.
The European migrant crisis is “beyond urgent” says the European Commission.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says about 250,000 migrants have crossed by sea to Europe so far this year – 124,000 to Greece and 98,000 to Italy.
The Italian navy said it had coordinated the rescue of 1,700 people on Tuesday alone.
Greece’s Prime Minister said his country is facing a “crisis within a crisis” and cannot cope with the influx.
European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said the EU was in touch with Greece “to see what they need and how we can provide the best help for them at this time”.