An agreement has been reached on the EU’s seven-year budget.
The 960 billion euro deal, which stretches to 2020, cuts spending in real terms for the first time.
The plan includes six billion euros allocated to deal with the specific problem of youth unemployment.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the agreement: “This is an important step to be able to plan our expenditure, and really try to do something for growth. Most of all it is central decision to act against unemployment and youth unemployment.”
Close to a quarter of people aged 18 to 25 in the EU are out of work.
In some countries like Spain and Greece it is much higher.
Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, would like to do more to assist the young unemployed: “It is never enough, if one looks at the size of the problem, but the European budget is not the primary solution for youth unemployment. The main issue is how well all the member states can improve their competitiveness and create real jobs.”
Our Brussels correspondent Margherita Sforza said: “The discussions continue today, European leaders will approve the opening of the accession negotiations with Serbia.”