BRUSSELS — Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to strengthen the single currency bloc's defenses against any future financial crisis.

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said early Tuesday that "after several months of intense negotiations and a very tough and long meeting we delivered a comprehensive plan to strengthen the euro."

Centeno said that new measures will be introduced to keep on top of any further financial crisis and to enhance debt sustainability. One proposal will see the bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, provide financial assistance in times of need.

The discussions among the 19 eurozone finance ministers pitted France against several northern European nations.

The plan now moves to next week's EU summit of government leaders.