EU finance ministers huddle over banking union on eve of summit

European Union officials are calling for a breakthrough in talks on the creation of a single supervisor for banks across the 27-country bloc.

The finance ministers will gather later Wednesday in the hope of agreeing on the set-up and powers of the new body. A banking supervisor is the first step in a broader plan to have a banking union, which aims to improve the EU's response to new financial crises.

A two-day summit of EU government leaders starting Thursday will seek to build on the results of the finance ministers' meeting. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told legislators that a big effort will be needed to achieve progress on the issue by the weekend.