[PARIS] German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Thursday on EU leaders meeting this week without Britain to come up with a "realistic" plan for Europe that reflects the bloc's "concerns, hopes and desires."
Speaking ahead of a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris, Ms Merkel said security and prosperity should take centre stage at Friday's summit in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
Ms Merkel said the current wave of jihadist violence and the mass influx of migrants demanded a common European approach.
"We must protect our external borders and we must provide a common response," she stressed, adding that Europe needed to address citizens' concerns in order to remain "a continent of hope".
Mr Hollande said the summit aimed to agree a "roadmap" for Europe's post-Brexit future, including improved defence capabilities, greater investment in renewable energy and a new push on training and jobs for the continent's legions of jobless youth.
The Bratislava summit is intended to give the EU a new sense of purpose after the existential crisis triggered by Britain's shock referendum decision to quit the bloc.