The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers are gathering for yet another summer meeting this weekend. But, for once, it's not Greece topping the agenda. Instead, officials will be discussing how to boost growth and employment in the 19-country single currency region in order to prevent a lost generation of "unemployable" citizens.
Although the most recent economic data show a positive trend in the region -- the most recent gross domestic product (GDP) estimates released this week showing that the euro zone economy grew a respectable 0.4 percent in the second quarter against the previous three months. But it is getting that return to growth to translate into an investment in human capital remains a hot topic for politicians.
Although the headline unemployment rate in the euro zone was 10.9 percent in July – the lowest level in three years - the rate belies the great disparity between the rate of unemployment seen in northern and southern Europe. While Germany has the lowest jobless rate of 4.7 percent, for example, its southern counterpart Greece has a 25 percent unemployment rate (in May, the latest available data), followed by Spain, at 22.2 percent.