European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has said the terms of Ireland's bailout loan from the ECB should be extended from three years to seven.
In a German newspaper article, Mr Rehn urged other Eurozone nations to grant Ireland - and Greece - easier terms.
He also issued a specific appeal to Germany's lower house of parliament, to soften its opposition to expanding the fund's powers to combat Europe's debt crisis.
Commissioner Rehn has also revealed that the EU is planning to monitor wage costs in each member state to ensure they remain competitive.
Mr Rehn vowed to carry on supporting Ireland’s economic recovery – insisting that an EU bail-out package is already giving the country a “fresh start”.
In-coming Taoiseach Enda Kenny wants a reduction in the interest rate agreed by Brian Cowen's Government for the €85bn bailout.
When he embarks on talks in Helsinki and Brussels in the next few days, he will argue that the repayment terms of the bail-out deal he inherited are too expensive and risk undermining the recovery the loan is supposed to support.
This afternoon, with Mr Kenny beginning to assemble a coalition government, the Commission insisted the deal already agreed, involving EU and International Monetary Fund loans, was the right one.
“We look forward to continue supporting the Irish people and the next Irish government in the implementation of the EU-IMF programme, which is key for Ireland’s economy and its revival,” said Mr Rehn.
He added: “We have the common goal for Ireland to revive its growth dynamics and succeed in ensuring its debt-sustainability.”
Later his spokesman insisted: “This programme is the best guarantee for the Irish economy to recover, to have a new fresh start for the benefit of its citizens in the medium and long term, with a more solid basis, whether it comes from the restructuring of the banking sector or the fiscal consolidation of Irish state.”
But Mr Kenny will insist his election gives him a mandate to change the bail-out terms, and he will begin the debate at talks in Helsinki on Friday with fellow centre-right political leaders across Europe.
A summit of all EU leaders in Brussels on March 11 will be crucial, when plans will be discussed for a new, permanent, EU system for future bail-outs in Europe after the current temporary system – used to finance Greece and Ireland - expires in 2013.
The permanent system will include the scale of interest rate for bail-outs, and Mr Kenny wants any lower interest rate for the future to apply retroactively to the existing Irish deal.
Today Mr Rehn said the summit would look at pricing policy for rescue loans, including interest rates, “from the overall European perspective to safeguard financial stability in the euro area and ensure debt-sustainability of all its members”.
But applying any lower rates to a deal already done with Ireland may require concessions from Mr Kenny – with Ireland’s low 12.5% corporation tax rate in the firing line.
“There is certainly no consensus in the EU at the moment on the need to alter the terms of the bail-out, and Mr Kenny will have to show flexibility if it is to happen at all,” aid one EU official.