Diplomats in Brussels are hoping for a breakthrough on controversial plans to tackle global warming and the economic slowdown.
EU leaders open a two-day summit today, amid warnings that deals on both issues could prove to be elusive.
There has been intense wrangling over plans for a multi-billion euro stimulus package, and a scheme to cut European CO2 emissions by 20 percent.
Poland and Italy have been among the countries voicing opposition to draft regulations.
Italy’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Ferdinando Nelli-Feroci, said: “We need a solution that safeguards some of our most sensitive manufacturing sectors. These sectors are at risk because of their vulnerability in the face of global competition.”
But despite the differences, the bloc’s environment commissioner says he is confident deals can be struck.
The EU has drawn up rules on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, and wants renewable energy such as wind and solar power to represent a fifth of its energy sources by 2020.