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The Open Method of Co-ordination in Action

The European Employment and Social Inclusion Strategies – Second Printing


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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Acknowledgements 15


Acknowledgements The editors would like to thank the SAL TSA research program for its collaboration and generous financial support of the research for this book. We are also grateful to Martin Rhodes, Helen Wallace and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European Univer- sity Institute in Florence for kindly hosting the authors' meeting in July 2003. Jonathan Zeitlin would like to thank the University of Wisconsin- Madison's European Union Center and Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) for their help and support, especially David Trubek, Darya Vassina and Natalie Oldani. Philippe Pochet wishes to express his gratitude to Caroline de la Porte, David Natali and Fran~oise Verri. The editors especially want to thank Valerie Cotulelli (OSE) who was, once again, indispensable for the lay-out of the manuscript. Jonathan ZEITLIN and Philippe POCHET January 2005 15 This page intentionally left blank

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