The second Youth Summit opened in Paris on November 12. Heads of state, government leaders and employment ministers rallied in the French capital to debate progress on initiatives to combat youth unemployment, a problem facing some 7.5m people between the ages of 15 and 24, writes French daily Le Monde.

The plan to hold a series of meetings on the problem was the brainchild of France and Germany, with the first of the meetings held in Berlin in June. This led to the creation of a fund designed to create jobs and training programmes for young people in the countries hardest hit by the crisis.

The aim of the European initiative, recalls Le *Monde,

is to assure that no young person under the age of 24 stays jobless or without training for more than four months, with an emphasis on apprenticeships and jobs of the future (digital and sustainable growth). Yet, no new measures are due to be announced on Tuesday. The leaders gathered in Paris should be satisfied with an unspectacular, preliminary report and measures that have been on the table for months. The idea is more to entice member states to make good usage of the €6bn earmarked to finance aid to unemployed youth in the hardest hit countries including France, Greece, Italy and Spain. The only problem is that the funds are not available because the budget has not yet been approved.

The newspaper continues that the stakes are high because –

a few months ahead of the European elections in May 2014, mobilisation is all the more essential because of the European leaders' fears of a rise of extreme parties due to social tensions and persistent massive unemployment, despite the fragile recovery.

A third summit is expected in spring 2014, in Italy or Greece.