EU holds financial reform summit
EU leaders will meet in Brussels shortly to co-ordinate their approach to the financial crisis ahead of a global summit in Washington next week.
The leaders believe there needs to be serious reform of the international financial architecture, the BBC's Jonny Dymond reports from Brussels, reported BBC.
Smaller EU states, whose leaders will not go to Washington, will have a chance to air their concerns on Friday.
There are some strong disagreements about the degree of regulation needed.
Some countries would like to see, in effect, a rewriting of the rules of the free market, while others think there is a risk of rushed regulation strangling future growth, our correspondent says.
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, chairing the Brussels meeting, says the 15 November Washington summit needs to be "a new Bretton Woods" - referring to the 1944 meeting which led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and other global institutions.
He wants fundamental reform of the international financial system to ensure there can be no repeat of the global banking crisis - widely held to be the worst since the 1929 Wall Street crash.
France is keen for the EU to demand a 100-day deadline for action - a timescale that could involve US President-elect Barack Obama in the proposed reforms.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters on Friday that "we've got to get the banks resuming lending".
He stressed that "the key to solving this problem is not wholly the action we can take nationally, but what we can do globally".
The European Central Bank cut its eurozone interest rates by half a percentage point to 3.25% on Thursday, in an effort to prevent a recession.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England made a shock one-and-a-half percentage point cut in UK interest rates to 3%.
Liberal Democrat MEP Graham Watson said "it is time the EU puts flesh on the bones of policy needs identified at the last summit" in mid-October.
"Progress needs to be made, for example, on a more institutionalised approach to regulation. However, the danger of too much summitry is that governments begin to disagree. The conclusions of this summit should be concise and businesslike," he said.