Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande met in Berlin today
The German Chancellor and French President met in Berlin this morning, where they were expected to have discussed the challenges faced by the EU ahead of upcoming European Council summits in Malta and Rome.
But as well as highlighting internal threats to the bloc ahead of upcoming Brexit negotiations and the rise of populist parties across Europe, the two leaders also warned of external challenges for Europe.
New US President Donald Trump has made clear his disdain for the EU and supranational bodies.
Mrs Merkel, appearing alongside Mr Hollande, told a news conference: "Europe faces big internal and external challenges which we … can only master by working together."
She added: "We need a clear, common commitment to the European Union, to what we have accomplished, and to the values of our liberal, democratic democracies."
Francois Hollande Fast Facts
Thu, December 1, 2016
Here is a look at the life of Francois Hollande, President of France since 2012.
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December 1st, 2016: Francois Hollande decides not to run again in the next France presidency.
We need a clear, common commitment to the European Union
Mr Hollande, who is not standing for re-election in the French presidential election this year, warned of the rise of "extremists".
Far-right politician Marine Le Pen, leader of Front National, is widely expected to reach the second round of voting in the French election.
Mr Hollande said: "To be very honest, what threatens Europe doesn't only come from outside. It is also from inside.
"This means the rise of extremists who use external factors to cause disruption internally."
More to follow…