BERLIN, June 27 (Xinhua) -- German and French foreign ministers raised proposals on Monday to prevent "erosion" of the European Union and improve its solidarity after Britain decided to leave the bloc in a referendum last week.
"We are seeing the European Union being severely put to the test," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in a joint document entitled "A strong Europe in a world of uncertainties."
The two ministers said the decision of the British people last week marked a watershed moment in the history of Europe and created a new situation.
"Neither a simple call for more Europe nor a phase of mere reflection can be an adequate answer," the document read, "To prevent the silent creeping erosion of our European project, we have to be more focused on essentials and on meeting the concrete expectations of our citizens."
Acknowledging that European Union (EU) member states differ in their levels of ambition on European integration, Steinmeier and Ayrault said common answers must be found to address challenges faced by the EU.
The two core countries proposed to build a European Security Compact, a common European asylum and migration policy and to complete the Economic and Monetary Union.
Their suggestions include: establishing agreed strategic priorities for the EU's foreign and security policy, establishing permanent cooperation in the field of defence, building the world's first multinational border and coast guard, further harmonizing standards and procedures of receiving asylum seekers, working on a common immigration act, fostering convergence between member states in strategic sectors and starting a fiscal capacity by 2018 at the latest to support investment in member states most severely hit by the crisis.
"France and Germany recognize their responsibility to reinforce solidarity and cohesion within the European Union," Steinmeier and Ayrault said, "We have to find better ways of dealing with different levels of ambition so as to ensure that Europe delivers better on the expectations of all European citizens."