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VENTOTENE, Italy – The Latest on the meeting of leaders from Italy, France and Germany (all times local):
The leaders of Italy, France and Germany have paid their respects at the tomb of one of the founding fathers of European unity in a symbolic bid to relaunch the European project following Britain's decision to leave the EU.
Standing together in the cemetery of the sun-soaked island of Ventotene, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland placed three bouquets of blue and yellow flowers — the colors of the European Union — on the simple white marble tombstone of Altiero Spinelli.
Spinelli, along with another intellectual confined to Ventotene in the 1940s by Italy's fascist rulers, co-wrote the "Ventotene Manifesto" calling for a federation of European states to counter the nationalism that had led Europe to war.
The document is considered the inspiration for European federalism.
The leaders of Italy, France and Germany are heading to one of the symbolic birthplaces of European unity to chart the path forward following Britain's decision to leave the EU.
Economic growth, improved security and new job options for European young people are among the topics expected to be discussed.
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland start their meeting by paying respects at the tomb of Altiero Spinelli, who in 1941 began co-writing the "Ventotene Manifesto." The document, which called for a federation of European states to counter the nationalism that had led Europe to war, inspired European federalism.
The three then head to another symbolic location for the summit: the Italian aircraft carrier Garibaldi, which is coordinating the EU's migrant rescue operation.