Hundreds of protesters have blocked traffic around the site of a European Union summit to protest many of the policies the 28 leaders will discuss during their two-day meeting.

Tractors and bales of hays obstructed entry to the main road leading up to the EU headquarters in Brussels during morning rush hour on Thursday, only hours before the leaders open their summit.

Bruno Dujardin of the CNE union said the demonstrators are seeking a "Europe for the people, which respects the workers and allows all European workers to have decent working conditions." They also protested plans for a trans-Atlantic trade agreement.

The economic crisis is on the summit agenda, was well as issues ranging from defense and banking to relations with Ukraine and the crisis in Central African Republic.