German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that European leaders meeting in Bratislava this month need to be “ambitious” in seeking to map out a future for the European Union after the departure of the U.K.

“We must show ambition and move quickly,” Merkel said along side French President Francois Hollande in Evian, France where the two leaders discussed plans with business leaders. “Economic, employment as well as border security are essential” issues that need to be addressed.

Leaders of 27 EU countries meet in Bratislava, Slovakia Sept. 16 to discuss the future of the bloc that is set to shrink for the first time in its history after British voters decided in a June referendum to exit the union. With economies stagnating and popular resistance to immigration rising, Merkel and Hollande are looking for ideas to provide growth and inspiration for the region.

Friday’s meeting of Merkel and Hollande was intended to coordinate their positions before the wider discussion begins.

“Populism and anti-European feeling are concerns,” Hollande said. “Europe needs to offer protection to its citizens, both economic and physical.”

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