Many have argued that the creation of a common European framework in the area of employment policy could influence and transform existing domestic legislations, policies, politics, and administrative structures. For example, European member States may have to restructure existing institutions, processes, policies and legislations to fit EU standards and goals. The first part of this essay sees the Open Method of Co-ordination and its development; in the next section the creation and formation of the European Employment Strategy at the European level is described. Then it is proceeded in explaining about how to understand the effect of the European Employment Strategy at the national level.
[...] A policy maker at the Belgian Ministry of Labour said without any hesitation, of the key elements of the EES is that it focuses on results. So, it is about have to obtain this or that level of employment', etc., and are for results'. That is the reason there are so many indicators, just to measure results. And traditionally the policy debate, especially on employment, in Belgium was not much about results, but about measures. “What measures should we develop? [...]
[...] The first part of this essay sees the sights of the Open Method of Coordination and its development; in the next section we describe the creation and formation of the European Employment Strategy at the European level. I then proceed to explain how we can understand the effect of the European Employment Strategy at the national level. The Development of employment policy After the passing of the Single European Act (1986) the discussion about the social ambit of the EU grew steadily. [...]
[...] The process makes member States aware that policy ‘X' is necessary at the national level because it is essential to achieve economic and social prosperity, for instance. For example, representatives of one of the Spanish trade unions claimed that the EES made “gender equality in the workplace” a salient issue in Spain. Before the introduction of the EES, they said, there was a lack of commitment on the issue--neither government nor CEOE (employer organization) were attacking the problem. Thus, the EES, specifically, its fourth pillar (equal opportunities), compelled social partners to include the issue of gender equality on their 2002 and 2003 “Acuerdo para la Negociacion Colectiva” (Agreement on Collective Negotiation). [...]
[...] Assess the merits of this method of coordination as applied to the European Employment Strategy. Introduction Since the late 1980's, there has been growing interest among policy-makers in the establishment of a cooperative framework for social policy in the European Union. The passage of the “Single European (SEA) in 1986 marked the beginning of an institutional change in the EU's treatment of social issues and policies. The Amsterdam Treaty (enacted in 1999) formalized the idea of the ‘European Employment Strategy' an instrument to reform European labor markets. [...]
[...] My approach not only considers change in legislation (as the obvious outcomes), but looks into the processes of change and reform of domestic structures and processes. Thus, it acknowledges that the effects of the EES at the national level could take different forms that include—no reform, policy change, reform of policy- making processes, and change in the power distribution of domestic actors and/or organizations. These insights are especially relevant if we consider the prospects of enlargement in European Union. The former argument brings us to a second point—the importance of studying the effect of European soft-governance tools. [...]
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