Gaby Umbach, Structure and Division: The Road Map for the Train of Thought in:

Gaby Umbach

Intent and Reality of the European Employment Strategy, page 35 - 37

Europeanisation of National Employment Policies and Policy-Making?

1. Edition 2009, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4128-4, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1247-0

Series: Studies on the European Union, vol. 1

Bibliographic information
Introduction 35 study (2002) and the British ECOTEC report (2002), prepared in the framework of the Commission’s official 2002 interim assessment of the EES, only few encompassing country-specific studies have been conducted so far. Yet, country-specific research on a smaller scale–in most cases contributions to edited volumes–is not missing (cf. Jacobsson 2005; Erhel/Mandin/Palier 2005; Ferrera/Sacchi 2005; Visser 2005; O’Donnell/Moss 2005). Also the contributions of Thiel (2004) on Germany and Hodson (2004) on the UK to the GOVECOR project (‘EU Governance by self co-ordination? Towards a collective gouvernement économique’, University of Cologne) have to be mentioned in this context as should be those of Büchs/Friedrich (2005) and Büchs (2005, 2007). Additionally, research projects such as ‘The Open Method of Co-ordination. A Way to modernize National Employment and Social Policies’ (2005-2007; University of Bamberg)–focusing on Germany, France and Italy–contribute to the need for further country-specific in-depth analysis, as did the GOVECOR project by concentrating “on the combined impact of the legal provisions for the coordination of employment policy as set out by the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Stability and Growth Pact” ( on developments within EU member states. The present study seeks to meet this demand for further country-specific in-depth as well as conceptual analysis of the Europeanisation impact of the EES within the EMLG system. 1.3 Structure and Division: The Road Map for the Train of Thought After chapter 1 introduced the research subject and design, chapter 2 continues this analysis’ storyline by presenting the overall theoretico-empirical frame of reference, in which the analysis is embedded. This frame interlinks the theoretical foundation of analysis with empirical elements and delivers explanative elements to elucidate the analysis’ results. It, moreover, develops an analytical matrix to which the empirical analysis will refer to. Chapter 2 starts by analysing the governance approach and the EMLG concept. This analysis introduces the systemic premises, functional characteristics and structural as well as procedural specifics of the EMLG as the core background condition for Europeanisation. The EMLG is introduced as a central tessera of what is known as the impact of European integration on national political processes and policies: the Europeanisation of member states’ institutionalprocedural set ups and their domestic public policies. The part on EMLG leads towards the analysis of the emergence and expansion of new policy instruments, and in particular the OMC, in search for the feasible in-between globalising demands and national reservations. By turning towards NMoG, the theoretico-empirical frame builds the bridge to the EES, applying the OMC in the field of employment policy, and to its impact on EU member states. NMoG approaches especially add to the analysis by providing explanation for the relation between European integration, the evolution of new forms of governance within the EU multilevel system and national adaptation. In order to better understand this particular NMoG, its characteristic Introduction 36 features, restrictions and benefits will be defined. With this combination of EMLG and NMoG approaches, the study takes into account two of the most important preconditions for Europeanisation in the chosen case of analysis: first, the multilevel character of the European polity and, second, new policy instruments that amend classical regulatory policies and emerged on the background of the changing conditions of supranational multilevel policy-making. The part on the NMoG is followed by an examination and categorisation of the Europeanisation approach, which builds the analytical backbone of this study. It forms the core theoretical concept of analysis. Apart from presenting its central characteristics, domains and categories, the part on Europeanisation further categorises the potential impact of Europeanisation on domestic change in order to set up and equip the core analytical matrix of the study with indicators for both institutional and policy change, adaptation and convergence. Chapter 2, moreover, takes into consideration a broad range of intervening variables. These will provide evidence for the UK and Germany to belong to different types of political and welfare state systems and to represent most interesting cases for comparative analysis. After the introduction of these intervening variables, the theoretico-empirical frame of reference finally turns towards the elaboration of the study’s guiding assumptions and theses. With this synergy approach, it aims to fully exploit the armoury of European integration theories in order to structure and categorise the empirical analysis of the Europeanisation impact of the EES on domestic employment policy co-ordination structures and policies in the UK and Germany. After this introduction into the theoretico-empirical background of analysis, chapter 3 initiates the empirical research by an analysis and categorisation of the why, when, how, what and in how far of the EES. It begins with the institutionalisation and constitutionalisation path from the Treaties of Rome towards the EES, the Lisbon Strategy and beyond. This section also takes account of British and German priorities during the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) leading towards the Amsterdam Treaty, which additionally highlight the potential of the two EU member states to successfully influence the shape of the EES, i.e. to up-load domestic employment policy approaches and traditions. Chapter 3 additionally analyses the structural-procedural premises and the overall ‘policy ID’ of the EES. Given that supranational employment policy co-ordination is embedded in the broader framework of the European socio-economic policy armoury, chapter 3 also examines the extent to which supranational economic integration and internationalisation potentially influence the Europeanisation impact of the EES at domestic level. The final section of chapter 3 draws concrete conclusions on the overall Europeanisation potential of the EES in order to later on attribute change, adaptation, and convergence at domestic level to the different facets of the EES. With this structure, chapter 3 departs from the abstract elements of the EES. It categorises the Europeanisation impact exerted by the EES, and zooms in on the analysis of the concrete impact of the EES on domestic structures and public policies. Chapter 4 examines the concrete impact of the EES on both institutional change and adaptation of supranational and domestic employment policy co-ordination in the UK and in Germany. The focus is laid on relevant institutions and political Introduction 37 actors as well as on their interaction at different political levels, including their relations within the (multi-annual) cycle of the EES. While the first sub-chapter concentrates on the analysis of actors’ configurations and interactions within the supranational part of the EES’s policy co-ordination network, the second and third subchapter are dedicated to the analysis of the Europeanisation impact of the EES on domestic structures. Chapter 5 focuses on the analysis of the influence of the EES on adaptation and change of British and German domestic employment policies. It analyses the period from the inception of the EES in 1998 until 2005 and examines domestic policy priorities, priorities set out by the NAPs, the evaluation of the domestic situation by the annual JER and, since 2000, also the Council recommendations as well as national responses to Council criticism. This analysis groups the policies adopted under the different pillars and priority areas of the EES in order to draw conclusions on domestic compliance with and adaptation to the thematic focus of the EES. Each country-specific sub-chapter concludes with a first interim assessment on domestic adaptation and change. Towards the end of the analytical journey, chapter 6 re-visits the guiding assumptions and theses. It presents the final conclusions of analysis within the matrix developed in the theoretico-empirical part of the study. The conclusions, firstly, focus on the results related to EU level constellations and the Europeanisation impact on British and German domestic structures. Secondly, they outline change, adaptation, and convergence of domestic employment policies in the UK and Germany, while changes of underlying cognitive/normative structures run through both parts. The conclusions classify the Europeanisation degree within the three different domains, applying the different categories of Europeanisation established within the study’s theoretico-empirical part. Finally, the conclusions turn towards the assessment of the analytical applicability of the Europeanisation approach to the analysis of domestic adaptation and change instigated by the OMC and propose amendments to strengthen its validity in the case of this particular policy instrument.

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Mit ihren spezifischen Merkmalen als neues Politikinstrument – wie etwa ihrem rechtlich nicht bindenden Charakter, dem Ziel des gegenseitigen Politiklernens durch Austausch bester Praktiken oder gemeinsamen Evaluierungsprozessen – stellt die Europäische Beschäftigungsstrategie (EBS) und die mit ihr Anwendung findende Offene Methode der Koordinierung (OMK) beschäftigungspolitische Akteure in der EU vor die neuen Herausforderungen von Politik-Koordinierung, die die Politikgestaltung im europäischen Mehrebenensystem neu prägen.

Das vorliegende Buch beschäftigt sich intensiv mit diesen unterschiedlichen Facetten der EBS und ihrer Wirkung. Es geht dabei über bisherige Einzelstudien zur EBS hinaus und befasst sich nicht nur mit deren Entstehung, Entwicklung und Merkmalen. Es kontrastiert vielmehr den eigenen Anspruch der EBS mit ihrer politischen Realität und untersucht theoretisch hoch reflektiert deren Einfluss auf Politik-Koordinierungsstrukturen, Beschäftigungspolitiken und zugrunde liegenden Ideen sowie deren Zusammenspiel mit anderen wirtschaftspolitischen Bereichen. Neben der EU-Ebene dienen Großbritannien und Deutschland als Fallbeispiele für mitgliedstaatliche Anpassungsprozesse. Das Buch verankert seine Wirkungsanalyse sehr fundiert in der wissenschaftstheoretischen Debatte um Europäisierung und Politikkonvergenz, um deren Anwendbarkeit im Falle der EBS kritisch zu analysieren. Es komplettiert damit Europäisierungsstudien zu regulativer Politik durch die Analyse des Einflusses weicher Politik-Koordinierung im europäischen Mehrebenensystem.