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The Open Method of Co-ordination

A way to Modernize National Employment and Social Policies?

Researchers

  • Dr. Jenny Preunkert
  • Marianna Colacicco
  • Andreas Huber
  • Dr. Sascha Zirra

Conference and Workshop

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  • Conference "Changing European Employment and Welfare Regimes. The Impact of the Open Method of Coordination on National Labour Market and Welfare Reforms". University of Bamb­erg, February 23 and 24, 2007.
  • Workshop on the Impacts of the European Employmen­t Strategy and the OMC/Inclusion in Germany, France and Italy. Ires Lucia Morosini. Torino, June 16, 2006.

Project Description

The Method of Open Coordination (OMC) is a new instrument in the EU policy toolkit. It intends to improve the different national European social policies without challenging national prerogatives. Our project aims to assess the changes within the field of employment and social inclusion policy on the European level as well as their impact on national policies in three member states (Germany, France and Italy). We try to answer, to what extent are administrative, normative and cognitive structures of national employment and social policies transformed and to what extent this may foster national social policy reforms. The OMC – Social Inclusion and the European Employment Strategy differ in many aspects, but are the two most far developed OMCs. The three countries analysed by this project constitute a twofold challenge to European concertation: While they face particular pressures to reform they as well have to overcome particular challenges within the process of modernising domestic social policies. Its impact on these three countries thus puts to the test the effectiveness of European coordination of employment and social policies.

Method

By this project we attempt to evaluate the impact of European employment and social policies on the basis of expert interviews with ministries, social partners and other actors involved in Germany, Italy and France. Furthermore, by interviews with experts we seek to understand the development of the respective processes on European level. Firstly, the overall aim is to gain knowledge about the modes of functioning of this new policy instrument. Second we assess the impact of this method on national regulatory regimes and third we analyse the interdependency between European and national regulatory regimes.

Funded by the German Research Foundation

(Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG)
Mai 2005-October 2007

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all those who contributed to the realisation of this project. We are particularly indepted to the German Research Foundation who provided the funds, our interviewees who were extraordinarily willing for appointments, Mrs. Gabriele Bischoff who supported us with contacts in Brussels, Prof. Dr. Gunter Bechtle who was a great help with the Italian interviews, Dott.ssa Marianna Colacicco who was an essential help for the realisation of the Italian interviews and last but not least our student assistants Benjamin Brake, Jakob Kunzlmann, Nina Zirra, Audrey Francois, Esther Wisskirchen, Katie Singles und Anne Schellenberger who had to suffer hours and hours of transliterating interviews.

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