David Cameron has vowed to win safeguards for Britain's place in Europe while keeping out of the latest EU summit efforts to restore eurozone credibility.
The Prime Minister arrived in Brussels for two days of talks insisting the eurozone members were right to press ahead with closer fiscal integration.
But Britain's priorities are different, he said.
"Of course we are saying to the eurozone countries they do need to do more things together to strengthen the currency and make sense of their currency, but Britain is going to stay out of that.
"We want Europe to work for us, as a single market, as a place where we trade, as a place where we co-operate, and I'm going in there so that we get the safeguards to make sure that can keep happening."
Mr Cameron said: "I think we will make some progress on more plans for growth and the eurozone will make progress on some of the plans it has. I know people are frustrated that these summits keep happening and not enough decisions are made. These are hard decisions for the eurozone countries to make and we should be encouraging them to go ahead."
Asked about the risk of a further transfer of power to Brussels because of growing pressure for closer integration in response to the crisis, he said: "I completely understand, and in many ways share people's concerns about Brussels getting too much power. That is why this Government legislated to put in place an absolute lock so that governments cannot pass powers from Britain to Brussels without asking people first in a referendum."
The summit was meeting amid Franco-German tensions over eurozone recovery tactics. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are still at loggerheads over the balance between austerity and growth.
Mrs Merkel is insisting on maintaining rigid rules on job cuts, tax rises and repayment terms for those countries benefiting from multibillion-euro bailouts - largely funded by Berlin. Meanwhile, Mr Hollande has said the demands are so tough they are stifling all prospect of growth and recovery in the struggling eurozone states.
To appease France, Mrs Merkel agreed the need for a 130 billion euro (£104 billion) "compact for growth" which is expected to be adopted by all 27 leaders in a final summit declaration. But Germany is resisting the idea of "mutualisation" of eurozone debt - pooling the debt burden to lower the risk.