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French President Francois Mitterrand, emphasizing the need to avoid future wars in Europe, called Saturday for the creation of a confederation of European states to link the European Community and the continent's other democratic countries.

Speaking at an international conference at the Chaillot Palace in Paris, Mitterrand said the 12-member EC is likely to expand to as many as 15 members beginning in 1993, and he said the other European democracies should be associated in a continent-wide confederation whose main task would be to avoid future wars.Austria has formally asked to join the Community and Sweden and Finland are expected to do so soon.

"We need a permanent structure where the countries of the Community, on an equal standing with the other countries of Europe, will build the Europe of the future," Mitterrand said.

The French president first proposed the creation of a confederation of European states in December, 1989, but his idea was widely resented by the new democracies of Eastern Europe who saw it as a way of politely closing the door to their full EC membership.

On Saturday Mitterrand returned to the theme, saying such a federation was a way of preventing "wars from once again becoming the norm on the European continent."

"We have to reinforce the Community, we have to enlarge it, and it has to take the initiative for future structures which will permit each European country not to come as beggars asking for this concession or that charity," Mitterrand added. "Without this there will be a revolt. "

The French leader referred to the "exasperation" of certain peoples having "suffered the domination, persecution and the eradication of individual and national identities and abuses."

Mitterrand said the civil wars currently being fought or that are menacing the new republics of the Commonwealth of Independent States and certain Eastern European countries were to be expected.

"We have entered a period of disorder which will last," he said. "Not to have understood this in 1989 bordered upon blindness. Our role is to try and limit its duration."

"The fall of empires is a marvelous step in the progress of civilization," he said. "If, however, we stop imagining and creating, we will quickly see other problems."