Germany is "confident" that EU ministers will make progress at talks next week on a planned banking union, a spokesman said on Friday, as the government hosted a high-level meeting.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was holding discussions on the subject in Berlin with his French, Italian and Spanish counterparts, as well as Eurogroup finance chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, on Friday the finance ministry spokesman told reporters.
EU Commissioner Michel Barnier, ECB board member Joerg Asmussen and a representative of the EU's Lithuanian presidency were also attending, he said, adding that it was a "working meeting" to pave the way for Tuesday's EU finance ministers' talks in Brussels.
"We are confident that we will advance a fair bit" at next week's talks, the spokesman said.
No press conference is scheduled after Friday's gathering in the German capital, he added, saying there was also "no so-called compromise paper" on the table.
EU finance ministers have been trying to narrow differences on the proposed banking union, a new framework meant to prevent a repetition of the financial meltdown that plunged Europe into crisis.
Although they approved a first step in the plan -- the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) to oversee eurozone banks -- in October, the ministers are under pressure to agree a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) by the end of the year.
The SRM would serve to close failing banks and would also need to be complemented by a deposit guarantee regime to protect savers.
Germany has opposed most of its EU partners over who should have the final say on the closure of banks under the new resolution regime.
But Schaeuble said last month in Brussels that the issues needing agreement would be resolved by Christmas.
To put the banking union scheme in place by 2015 as planned, Asmussen has said there must be a decision on SRM by year's end because it will still need to be approved by the European Parliament, whose mandate ends in April.