October 18, 2012 - 11:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - EU leaders are due to begin a two-day summit in Brussels Thursday, Oct 18, that will focus on issues surrounding the eurozone crisis, BBC News reports.
High on the agenda will be the plans for a eurozone banking union, seen as a key element in restoring confidence in the euro.
In the run-up to the summit, Germany has been urging EU states to consider pooling more economic sovereignty.
Meanwhile Greece, which is at the centre of the European debt crisis, is braced for another general strike. It will be its 20th since the debt crisis erupted in the country two years ago.
Talks in Brussels are also expected to focus on banking supervision, stricter fiscal oversight and direct recapitalization of banks from rescue funds.
The summit will take place amid calmer European stock markets than in previous meetings and with less concern over the debt crises in Spain and Greece, analysts say.
Speaking on Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande said an end to the eurozone crisis was "very close" and he wanted a deal agreed on the first stage of a banking union.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has proposed a full fiscal union - control at European level of tax and spending. Schaeuble added that eurozone countries "need to tackle problems themselves", adding that the eurozone bailout fund was there to help countries do just that.
But he reiterated his view that further steps towards political integration would strengthen the bloc.
The meeting in Brussels will be the fourth time that leaders of the EU's 27 nations have met this year.