European Council president Donald Tusk calls on EU leaders to take a ''brutally honest'' look at the bloc's problems as they meet in Bratislava to find a way forward after Brexit. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
ROUGH CUT (no reporter narration) It's here in Bratislava in Slovakia that European leaders will gather Friday. It will be the time in more than four decades that Britain, the third-largest EU member state, will not be at the table. European Council president Donald Tusk hopes the leaders will take take a "brutally honest" look at the bloc's problems in their first post Brexit meeting. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, DONALD TUSK, SAYING: "It is my personal feeling - I think the best motto for the Bratislava meeting is that we must not let these crisis go to waste." Earlier, the leaders of France and Germany met in Paris -- as they want to signal a clear path ahead. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany and France are on the same page. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Germany and France want to take responsibility in those hours and days and want to make clear that we have prepared well and have the same priorities such as domestic and external security." French president Francois Hollande says the stakes could not be higher at the meetings (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "I think we have to be clear on the situation Europe is facing. I have often said it, it's not just another crisis, it could be a crisis over its very existence, over its very foundations. That's why we must have a mindset of giving to Europeans a clear vision of what could be, and what will be their future." However, with national elections looming in the coming year in France and Germany -- analysts are not expecting any major reforms to emerge from the meeting.