French President Nicolas Sarkozy is hosting a mini-summit in Paris at which he hopes a common European approach to the world financial crisis will emerge. Mr Sarkozy will be joined by the leaders of Britain, Germany, and Italy.
He is expected to propose better co-ordination between EU governments ahead of next week's G8 meeting in the US. France wants countries to agree to intervene where necessary to protect European banks, but has denied reports of plans for a US-style rescue plan.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon - describing the world as being "on the edge of the abyss" - said France would propose measures to unfreeze credit and co-ordinate economic strategies.
He held talks with Mr Sarkozy before the EU leaders' meeting and said that although the EU was a more complex organisation than the US, Europe needed to take "concerted collective action".
The BBC's Alasdair Sandford, in Paris, says one source is quoted as saying there may be a call for greater co-ordination of deposit guarantee schemes. But he adds that after the recent divisions, it is far from clear what will emerge.
But before leaving for the meeting, Mr Brown said a fund created by the European Investment Bank to be spread over two years to provide loans for small businesses should be made available immediately.