BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Days from a European summit, the 15 European Union governments remained divided Sunday on how to carry out and finance an expansion of the world's largest trading bloc.

The EU foreign ministers began a two-day session Sunday to lift an impasse over underwriting a near-doubling of the European Union. That, plus the issue of how fast to expand the EU, will dominate the two-day summit opening Friday in Vienna.The EU has set no entry dates to the chagrin of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. They are seen as having the best chances to be the first to join in the EU expansion sweepstakes.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said a concrete entry date can only be set when there is a prospect of concluding expansion talks and when the EU has reformed its own finances.

On the latter, Austria, which concludes its six-month EU presidency Dec. 31, has made no progress because September elections in Germany brought EU business to a standstill.

That would leave it to Germany, which assumes the EU presidency Jan. 1, to clinch a deal at a March summit. Fischer predicted final agreement will come in "last-minute negotiations."

The main problems are:

-- Money: Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland fear they will lose money to finance the entry of Cyprus and 10 East European nations and recommend raising membership fees. But Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden say they pay too much already and want to freeze the EU budget, which totals $100 billion in 1998.

-- Agricultural reform: Subsidies guaranteeing the EU's 10 million farmers minimum prices eat up half of the budget. The European Commission has proposed cuts of up to 30 percent in subsidies, which just about every government opposes. Equally unpopular is the suggestion to pay farmers more from national coffers.

-- The speed of expansion: The EU is negotiating with Cyprus, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia but refuses to set an entry date.