Tony Blair is welcoming fellow leaders to Hampton Court for a summit he hopes will set the future course of Europe.
Formal discussions on the thorny issue of the European Union's budget have been put off until December.
The Prime Minister wants to use the remaining months of Britain's EU Presidency to focus on globalisation loss of public confidence.
Tony Blair drew applause and heckles when he used a rare address to Euro-MPs to set out concrete measures on Wednesday.
Among his proposals were a common European energy policy and joint action on migration
Mr Blair insisted a combined approach was needed now to give the EU a fighting chance of meeting the economic challenge from China and India.
Mr Blair said the Union must reduce unemployment, increase labour market flexibility and improve work-life balance.
The informal meeting at Hampton Court is only a prelude to the serious horse-trading that will come in December.
Britain has offered to renegotiate the rebate won by Baroness Thatcher - but only in return for radical reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
That is strongly opposed by France, the chief beneficiary of the agricultural subsidies, Sky news reports.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building