HLUBOKA NAD VLTAVOU, Czech Republic, (AFP) - European foreign ministers said Friday they were ready to increase their civilian action in Afghanistan, to support a new strategy by US President Barack Obama. "We are always prepared to do more," said Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, as he entered Hluboka castle in the southern Czech Republic to host talks with his EU counterparts. His country holds the rotating EU presidency. EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, speaking before Obama's announcement, said that more financial aid to the country would be announced at a conference on Afghanistan in The Netherlands next Tuesday. "We will certainly contribute to a civilian surge, having some more funds available," she said as she arrived, adding that she might announce an amount at The Hague. The European Commission's current undertaking is 811 million dollars for the 2007-2010 period. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Obama's speech would "give concrete meaning to the idea that we are looking at Afghanistan and Pakistan together.., and that they want to balance the civilian and military aspects of their work." The EU has three non-military roles to play in the region, he told reporters. "In Afghanistan on the policing side and in Pakistan on the economic side and in both countries also putting in place democratic governance." Miliband said Obama's strategy would "strike a very strong chord with the Europeans," who also see a strong link between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Europe's own initiatives should be "integrated closely with the NATO operations, we certainly don't want more bureaucracy and new structures being created," he stressed. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has also said that France and other member states - Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Spain - were ready to send an armed gendarmerie force to boost the Afghan police. Miliband did not confirm comments in London by Britain's army chief that Britain was set to offer increased troop numbers in Afghanistan. "We haven't been asked by the Americans to provide more troops," he told reporters. "The UK provides about 12 percent of total troops in Afghanistan already. It is already a very important contribution we are making," he added. In order to better help Pakistan economically, Miliband said Britain supported a free-trade deal with Lahore, something that could be discussed at an EU-Pakistan summit. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana's spokeswoman said that meeting could be held in May or June.