European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has told CNBC that although Europe's economy has turned the corner, it is not yet out of its crisis.
"How can we say that we are out of the crisis with these very high levels of unemployment?" he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
"At the same time, I think it fair to say that we have overcome some very important difficulties."
The euro zone's economy grew by 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, after emerging from the longest recession in continental Europe in over 40 years the previous quarter. Economic surveys for sectors including services and manufacturing appear to show that the recovery is gathering steam, with activity picking up in December.
Unemployment in the 17-member currency bloc, however, remains stubbornly high at 12.1 percent. While youth unemployment increased in November 2013, according to data released earlier this month, with 3.575 million under-25s without a job in the euro zone.