Bratislava prepares to welcome 27 European Union leaders hoping to hammer out a diagnosis of why support is growing for eurosceptic parties.
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Security was very high in Bratislava on Friday (September 16) as 27 European Union leaders, with British Prime Minister Theresa May absent, were gathering in the Slovak capital to try and agree a diagnosis of why people across the bloc are increasingly voting for eurosceptic parties and on ways to regain trust in the EU. With governments deeply divided, between east and west, north and south, over how to bolster the economy and the euro zone and respond to an influx of refugees, EU Council President Donald Tusk has highlighted three priorities for agreement - on strengthening external border controls, combating terrorism and reassuring people of protection from adverse effects of economic globalisation. Leaders want the summit to begin a process of negotiations in the hope of agreeing further strategies when they meet in March in Italy to mark the 60th anniversary of the Union's founding Treaty of Rome. However, with leading powers France and Germany holding national elections over the coming year, the bloc's immediate scope for agreeing substantive new policies, notably on reforming the euro currency area and asylum rules, is limited.