The European Commission on Wednesday approved a new action plan to increase the number of entrepreneurs in the 27-member European Union with the aim of confronting the bloc's high levels of unemployment.

Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani said that this was a political text for which a legislative proposal still does not exist, something that will be developed once experts analyze the results of a survey of European businessmen.

Financing for this plan will amount to 18 billion euros ($23.5 billion) in EU funds for innovation and another 2.4 billion euros ($3.1 billion) for small and medium-sized businesses, Tajani said.

"It still continues to be very difficult to create a business in Europe," he said, citing the low proportion of Europeans who would like to work for themselves, just 37 percent, according to the most recent figures compiled by Eurobarometer.

The comparable figures in the United States and China are 51 percent and 56 percent, respectively.

The commission says that education and training are the basic pillars of the strategy.

The EU action plan also sets forth the creation of a favorable environment for business creation based on access to financing and support for start-ups during the first five years.

Unemployment in the eurozone climbed one-tenth of a percentage point to 11.8 percent in November, while the overall EU jobless rate remained unchanged at 10.7 percent, the EU's statistics' agency said Tuesday.

The new data means that unemployment reached a new record high for countries of the 17-member euro area, while for the entire EU joblessness remained at the highest level since the rate began to be calculated on a European-wide basis. EFE