Difficult issues on the table for resolution
The following topics are the major issues facing the European finance ministers at the meeting today, convened by Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council.
The Commission wants to submit draft budgets to peer review, and sanction member states who don't abide by the bloc's deficit and debt limits.
Germany wants to go one step further and suspend EU voting rights for recidivist countries.
The widening gulf between export-fuelled wealth in Germany and debt-riddled Greece is plaguing EU policymakers, who want to even out differences in the bloc.
Paris is keen for Berlin to step up to the plate and boost demand at home.
The EU executive has thrown a sop to Germany, saying richer countries should not be penalised for their successes.
It says it will issue warnings and recommendations to underperformers.
The €750bn bailout agreed earlier this month will expire after three years, and the Commission wants to set itself up as a future lender of last resort.
Germany, fearful of moral hazard, says orderly default -- effectively quitting the eurozone -- must also be an option.
Germany suspended speculative trading on Wednesday without informing any of its EU partners, and Brussels's supremos are keen to keep a lid on anything that could alert markets to potential divisions.