The European Union is in a “critical situation”, the German chancellor has said, as leaders meet in Slovakia to discuss ways to regain trust after the UK’s vote to leave the bloc.
Angela Merkel said they needed to show they could improve on security, defence co-operation and the economy. But EU countries are deeply divided over how to bolster growth and respond to the influx of migrants.
Meeting in Bratislava without the UK, they will not discuss Brexit talks.
“We need solutions for Europe and we are in a critical situation,”
Mrs Merkel said as she arrived at the gathering.
“You can’t solve all Europe’s problems in one summit. What we have to do is show in our deeds we can do things better in the realms of security and fighting terrorism, and in the field of defence.”
Even though Britain’s referendum result is not on the agenda, and British Prime Minister Theresa May is not attending the summit, there is little doubt that Brexit will overshadow the meeting.
French President Francois Hollande said:
“Either we move in the direction of disintegration, of dilution, or we work together to inject new momentum, we relaunch the European project.”