Merkel and Hollande meet in Paris about EU's future

Germany's chancellor and France's president are meeting in Paris to coordinate strategy a day before an informal EU summit in Slovakia.

The French presidency said Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are working "very closely" to agree on proposals for Friday's meeting of 27 EU leaders in Bratislava, with Europe's security at the top of the agenda.

Hollande and Merkel want to create a permanent EU military headquarters which could dispatch European troops quickly when necessary — a long-standing project opposed by Britain.

The French presidency said Thursday the two leaders will also push for better protection of the EU's external borders and improving cooperation among police, justice and intelligence services.

Britain, which has voted to leave the EU, was not invited to the meeting.