Germany's Merkel hosts EU conference to tackle bloc's youth unemployment crisis

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is bringing together officials from across Europe to discuss how best to get young people into jobs.

The heads of the 28 European Union countries' national labour agencies and their labour ministers will meet before Merkel joins French President Francois Hollande and other leaders at a conference in Berlin Wednesday.

EU leaders have agreed to put aside 6 billion euros ($7.8 billion) starting next year, on top of other funding, to fight youth unemployment. How the money will be allocated will be one of the talking points.

The conference is primarily aimed at comparing notes on what measures countries can take to bring down an unemployment rate among under-25s that stood at 23.1 per cent across the EU in May.