The European Union's administrative arm called Wednesday for directly supporting distressed banks in the struggling monetary union with a variety of measures that entail financially integrating the economies of the 17 member countries.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called for a banking union, euro-area financial supervision and a plan to guarantee bank deposits.

Barroso said the euro zone's permanent bailout fund should be empowered to inject cash to banks instead of funneling rescue funds through national governments.