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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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Caroline DE LA PORTE & Philippe POCHET (eds.) Building Social Europe through the Open Method of Co-ordination The Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC) is a multi-dimensional challenge for policy-makers, as well as social actors, researchers and other players. The aim of Building Social Europe through the Open Method of Co-ordination is to describe the role of the OMC as an instrument for the governance of Europe's social dimension from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The underlying issues addressed concern its potential as an instrument of Europeanisation, as well as how the Member States influence EU policy formation. The complexities of national policy-making pro- cesses in the area of employment are scrutinised by researchers from different EU countries who seek to understand how, if at all, OMC employment is integrated into Member States' policies. Furthermore, the complex adaptational pressures ofthe EU on the reform of national public pension schemes (the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Italy) are analysed. The editors devote their efforts to understanding the national-European dynamics of OMC in the areas of employment, social exclusion and pensions. The book is a first step towards a theoretical framework that explains the dynamics ofOMC. Caroline DE LA PORTE is a sociologist and a researcher at the Observa- toire social europeen and is particularly interested in the OMC, Social Europe, and the social dimension of enlargement. Philippe POCHET is the director of the Observatoire social europeen, Digest Editor of the Journal of European Social Policy, affiliate at the Centre of European Studies (Universite Libre de Bruxelles)...

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