EU faces Standard & Poor's credit rating threat
8 December 2011 Last updated at 09:28 GMT
Standard & Poor's has said it will review the top AAA credit rating of the European Union for possible downgrade.
The move adds the 27-nation bloc to a previously announced review of 15 of the 17 eurozone countries, including France and Germany.
A rating cut would affect the bloc as a whole, including EU-wide bodies such as the European Investment Bank, but not non-eurozone members such as the UK.
It comes as EU leaders meet for a crisis summit in Brussels.
"The credit watch on the EU is an expression of our concerns about the potential impact on the future debt service capacity of eurozone sovereigns, and therefore also the EU, in the context of what we view as deepening political, financial, and monetary problems within the eurozone," the rating agency said.
S&P indicated that the EU's rating would be cut one level to AA+ if it decided to downgrade either France or Germany or both.
On Wednesday, the rating agency also put a string of major eurozone banks on review for downgrade for similar reasons.