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The Open Method of Co-ordination in Action

The European Employment and Social Inclusion Strategies – Second Printing

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Edited By Jonathan Zeitlin and Philippe Pochet

No development in European integration has aroused greater interest or greater controversy in recent years than the Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC), which has become an increasingly broadly applied instrument of EU governance since its invention as part of the «Lisbon Strategy» in 2000. Yet it is widely agreed that the debates surrounding the OMC suffer from a serious empirical deficit. This book, based on an international research network organised by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Observatoire social européen, and the SALTSA Programme, focuses on two highly developed OMC processes, the European Employment and Social Inclusion Strategies, concentrating on their operation and influence at national and subnational levels. It comprises a combination of national and comparative studies, covering eight countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) and four transversal themes (hard and soft law, participation, gender equality, activation). These studies are framed by a historical overview of the OMC’s place in the construction of Social Europe, and by a synthetic conclusion, which assesses the available evidence on the OMC in action, and proposes a reflexive reform strategy for realising its theoretical promise as a new mode of EU governance.

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List of Abbreviations .......................................................................... 9 Acknowledgements ........................................................................... 15 Foreword .......................................................................................... 17 by Lars MAGNUSSON INTRODUCTION The Open Method of Co-ordination in Question ........................... 19 Jonathan ZEITLIN PART I THEORETICAL AND HISTORICAL OVERVIEWS CHAPTERl The Open Method of Co-ordination and the Construction of Social Europe. A Historical Perspective ..................................... 37 Philippe POCHET CHAPTER2 The Open Method of Co-ordination and the Debate over "Hard" and "Soft" Law ........................................................... 83 CHAPTER3 David M. TRUBEK & Louise G. TRUBEK PART II NATIONAL STUDIES Trying to Reform the "Best Pupils in the Class"? The Open Method of Co-ordination in Sweden and Denmark ... 107 Kerstin JACOBSSON CHAPTER4 The Open Method of Co-ordination and National Institutional Capabilities. The Italian Experience ....................... 137 Maurizio FERRERA & Stefano SACCHI CHAPTERS The OMC as Selective Amplifier for National Strategies of Reform. What the Netherlands Want to Learn from Europe .... 173 Jelle VISSER 7 CHAPTER6 The Leverage Effect. The Open Method of Co-ordination in France ............................................................ 217 Christine ERHEL, Lou MANDIN & Bruno PALlER CHAPTER 7 Surface Integration. The National Action Plans for Employment and Social Inclusion in Germany ..................... 249 Milena BUCHS & Oawid FRIEDRICH CHAPTERS How Open is the United Kingdom to the OMC Process on Social Inclusion? .......................................................... 287 Kenneth A. ARMSTRONG CHAPTER9 Ireland: The Very Idea of an Open Method of Co-ordination ... 311 Rory O'DONNELL & Brian MOSS CHAPTER10 PART III COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENTS Participation in the Open Method of Co-ordination. The Cases of Employment and Social Inclusion .......................... 353 Caroline DE LA PORTE & Philippe POCHET CHAPTERll Gender Mainstreaming and the OMC. Is the Open Method Too Open for Gender Equality Policy? .......................... 391 Jill...

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