PARIS-- President Nicolas Sarkozy said he expects a meeting of 15 European leaders Sunday to produce an ambitious, coordinated plan to battle the effects of the global financial crisis.
Decisions taken by the heads of countries where the euro currency is used will be submitted to the 12 remaining European Union countries at an EU summit Wednesday, the French president said.
"I expect an ambitious, coordinated plan that brings solutions," Sarkozy said ahead of the summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes leaders can provide a "very important signal for the markets."
"Our goal is to define a coordinated joint action for the eurozone, so that we can in the coming days take national measures that stabilize the financial markets, but that also don't discredit the individual member states," she said.
Before the summit, Sarkozy greeted each of the other European leaders on the steps of the Elysee Palace. He met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose partial bank nationalizations provide a potential model for decisions by the euro-zone countries.
Britain does not use the euro.
Some European officials said one proposal on the table was sure to be government guarantees of interbank loans in order to unfreeze credit markets locked up by fear and uncertainty among lending institutions.
Such broad guarantees would follow the lead of Britain.
Brown, writing in the Daily Mirror on Sunday, stressed the need for drastic action because of the essential role played by banks; "getting a mortgage, paying the bills and saving for old age."
However, a comprehensive approach is needed, he wrote. "For Europe, the stakes could not be higher and this is a moment of truth."
Sunday's meetings come after an exceptionally bad week on European markets, as stock indexes dived across the continent despite individual government steps.
Last weekend, the leaders of Europe's four biggest economies met but failed to agree on any specific plan. And on Saturday, finance ministers of the Group of Seven met but did not commit to anything firm.
The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said he was hopeful leaders would "take an important step forward today by agreeing to a clear response for the euro area to the current crisis." Barroso was present for the meeting with Brown.
An "unprecedented level of coordination" is needed to make clear to both Europeans and the markets of the ability to act with a single voice, he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stressing the need for a "coherent, efficient and synchronized" response, said Saturday that a "common toolbox" could be the outcome of the summit.
Individual countries "could use these tools to respond to (their) particular situation," she said after a meeting outside Paris with Sarkozy.
"We need a common approach in Europe, but we must be able to adapt to each national situation in a flexible way," she said.
Merkel and Sarkozy stressed at a news conference Saturday that coordination is vital to taming the crisis and putting an end to the go-it-alone approach that has predominated thus far in Europe.
Sarkozy said ahead of the summit that he would "announce a certain number of measures" Monday for France.
The summit follows a weekend meeting in Washington of finance ministers from the Group of Seven - Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and the United States.
Ireland's unilateral move to guarantee all bank deposits caught other EU nations off balance, and led to fears of a flight of capital to the Emerald Isle.
Britain then announced a 50 billion-pound (US$88 billion) plan to partly nationalize major banks and promised to guarantee a further 250 billion pounds ($438 billion) of loans to shore up the banking sector. The Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis got a bailout, and so did lender Dexia SA, helped by France, Belgium and Luxembourg.