BRUSSELS - Seeking to revive the region's rapidly deteriorating economy, the European Commission on Wednesday proposed a stimulus package totaling 200 billion euros, or $256.22 billion.

The commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said in Brussels that the stimulus measures were necessary to bolster growth and employment in the European Union's 27 member countries. Just Tuesday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted that the 15 countries of the euro zone would contract next year by a combined 0.6 percent, and economists have begun speaking of 2009 as a "lost year."

The stimulus plan was larger than many economists had expected. It calls for a spending of "around 200 billion euros" or 1.5 percent of the European Union's gross domestic product. Most of the money - about 170 billion euros - would come from member-government spending, much of which has already been announced.

The remaining 30 billion euros will come from the budgets of the European Union itself and the European Investment Bank.

"Exceptional times call for exceptional measures," said Jose Manuel Barroso, the commission president, said at a news conference in Brussels. "The jobs and well-being of our citizens are at stake. Europe needs to extend to the real economy its unprecedented coordination over financial markets."

This recovery plan is big and bold, yet strategic and sustainable," he said.

Gilles Moëc, senior economist at Bank of America in London, said, "On the face of it, it's more ambitious than the 1 percent of G.D.P. that had been expected." But, he noted, with only 30 billion euros of the total package coming from Brussels, "I'm a bit circumspect in the absence of tangible commitments from national governments."

Mr. Barroso stressed that the European Union's budgetary rules, which were revised in 2005, would remain in place, but he said they would be applied with maximum flexibility. He said that while member states would be asked to spend on average 1.2 percent of their gross domestic product on fiscal stimulus, not every country would be expected to take part.

"We're not going to ask countries that are under programs of the I.M.F. to increase their spending," he said, referring to Hungary, which in October worked out a $25 billion bailout package with the International Monetary Fund.

The monetary affairs commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, said that countries that breached the deficit ceiling of 3 percent of G.D.P. would face official reprimands, but would be given longer than usual to bring their budgets back into balance because of the exceptional circumstances.

Mr. Barroso said that the euro had protected a number of the region's economies from the worst effects of the financial crisis and that it was vital to retain the credibility of the currency. He added that it was impossible to have a strong euro without a credible set of rules for the governments of member countries.

The measures proposed Wednesday include accelerating the payment of 6.3 billion euros in European Commission financing for regional aid projects, channeling money more quickly to national governments, mostly to Europe's newer, formerly Communist countries.

There is a further plan to speed up to 2009 and 2010 the spending of 5 billion euros of already pledged money on energy infrastructure and broadband communications.

While the commission has limited powers over member country's finances, the announcement was intended to spur leading economies like Germany into producing national recovery plans.

Officials face a difficult task in coordinating action among countries with different currencies and differing degrees of economic distress. Some member governments have already announced fiscal policy measures of conflicting design. Britain, for example, is cutting its sales tax, while Ireland is raising its own.

It is currently impossible to say exactly how much of the national governments' 170 billion euro contribution has already been pledged, Mr. Moëc said, though that should become clearer at a December meeting of European economic and finance ministers.

Mr. Moëc said the biggest European economy, Germany, was also the biggest question mark. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, warned lawmakers that the country should not get into "a race for billions" with other countries.