World

Leaders of Germany and France try to turn back tide of skepticism toward European project

  • Migrants are guarded by a Greek policeman as they wait to be registered at a camp set up for migrants from Afghanistan near Moria on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

    Migrants are guarded by a Greek policeman as they wait to be registered at a camp set up for migrants from Afghanistan near Moria on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, is seated next to French President Francois Hollande before addressing the members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are making a historic appeal to the European Parliament on Wednesday. It's the first such joint appearance since 1989, when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterrand spoke in Strasbourg days after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, is seated next to French President Francois Hollande before addressing the members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are making a historic appeal to the European Parliament on Wednesday. It's the first such joint appearance since 1989, when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterrand spoke in Strasbourg days after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • President of European parliament Martin Schulz, left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spain's King Felipe VI, 2nd right, and French President Francois Hollande, right, pose for photographers as they meet  at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are making a historic appeal to the European Parliament on Wednesday. It's the first such joint appearance since 1989, when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterrand spoke in Strasbourg days after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, Pool)

    President of European parliament Martin Schulz, left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spain's King Felipe VI, 2nd right, and French President Francois Hollande, right, pose for photographers as they meet at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are making a historic appeal to the European Parliament on Wednesday. It's the first such joint appearance since 1989, when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterrand spoke in Strasbourg days after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Europe's union is facing its toughest year yet, as pressure to pull the EU's 28 countries tighter together instead risks pushing them further apart. So the leaders of Germany and France are trying to come to the rescue.

Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are making a historic appeal to the European Parliament on Wednesday. It's the first such joint appearance since 1989, days after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It comes as the union has been beset by divisions over migrants, debt crises and growing nationalist sentiment. The two leaders may face criticism from skeptical lawmakers.

Merkel said Europe faces a "test" over how it deals with Syrian refugees. She is expected to focus on the migration situation while Hollande is expected to speak about European solidarity.