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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 1 October, 2014

When Enda met Angela: Merkel to host Taoiseach in round table meeting

Youth unemployment is top of the agenda at a round table summit in the German capital today.

Angela Merkel with Enda Kenny in one of their earlier meetings five years ago
Angela Merkel with Enda Kenny in one of their earlier meetings five years ago
Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

ENDA KENNY IS in Berlin today to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is hosting a round table meeting on youth employment.

The Taoiseach is attending the summit with the Social Protection Minister Joan Burton as EU leaders look to take “concrete steps” in tackling the crisis of youth unemployment across the continent.

Figures from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, show that in May 5.25 million people under the age of 25 were unemployed in the EU’s 27 member states. Some 26.4 million people are unemployed in total.

Germany has invited heads of state and government as well as responsible ministers to discuss youth unemployment issues and the youth guarantee which aims to get every unemployed person under 25 into employment or training.

The Department of Taoiseach said last night that the round table meeting today follows on from a number of major steps taken on youth employment under the Irish Presidency which concluded last week.

EU leaders in March provided for the first time a specific €6 billion EU fund for youth employment.

Last week, leaders agreed that most of the money would be spent in 2014/2015 and that budget flexibilities mean that in real terms more than €8 billion will be spent.

Read: Enda Kenny tells parliament that he is ‘truly, madly, deeply European’

More: Over 26 million people in the EU were unemployed last month

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