Merkel: European Union is in a critical situation and we need to revive it

Angela Merkel has said the EU is “in a critical situation” following the UK’s Brexit vote.The German chancellor voiced her fears as she arrived in the Slovakian capital Bratislava for an informal meeting of EU leaders - the first without Britain for 43 years. “We need solutions for Europe and we are in a critical situation,” she said. “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.”

I hope that Bratislava stands for the fact that we want to work together, and we want the problems that there are in Europe to be solved

Angela Merkel

The summit has been called to discuss the future of the union after the Brexit vote and the reforms it must undertake to survive. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, warned leaders in a frank letter earlier this week that the migration crisis would be top of the agenda, saying many people felt a “tipping point” had been reached. In a statement released on the eve of the meeting he added: “We haven’t come to Bratislava to comfort each other. Or even worse, to deny the real challenges we face. In this particular moment in the history of our community, after the vote in the UK, the only thing that makes sense is to have a sober and brutally honest assessment of the situation.”

What we need today is an optimistic scenario for the future, no doubts. But it requires a realistic diagnosis of the causes of Brexit, and its political consequences for all Europe.

Donal Tusk