Leaders of France, Spain, Germany and Italy to meet in March

French President Francois Hollande says he and the leaders of Spain, Italy and Germany will meet in early March to lay ground for a summit on the European Union's future after Britain's departure from the bloc.

A joint declaration Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy issued after meeting in Malaga on Monday said they plan to get together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni in Versailles on March 6.

The large-scale summit will follow in Rome on March 25th to mark 60 years since the beginning of the European Economic Community that became part of the broader EU.

Hollande says the four-nation Versailles meeting is important so the leaders "can defend the European project together and with strength."