Germany and France are preparing to launch a drive to combat the problem of high youth unemployment in Europe.
Germany's labor minister said Wednesday that she and her French counterpart will meet in Paris next week along with the countries' finance ministers and European industry representatives to discuss the initiative. Officials in Berlin say the jobs drive will focus on putting already-pledged money to use.
High youth unemployment has become a pressing problem in many countries as economic belt-tightening continues.
The German-French initiative comes at a time when both governments are under pressure: Germany faces criticism of its austerity-heavy remedy for Europe's debt crisis, while France has gone into recession.
In July, Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to host a meeting of European labor ministers and agency chiefs in Berlin.