Gaby Umbach, Domestic and Cognitive/Normative Structures: National Institutional Capacity and Veto Points – Central Characteristics of the UK and Germany in:

Gaby Umbach

Intent and Reality of the European Employment Strategy, page 111 - 136

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
Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 111 In view of this study’s analysis, the following intervening variables are identified as potentially relevant for domestic adaptation and will be analysed more in-depth in the next sub-chapter: • Institutional capacity (Europeanisation Domain: Domestic structures): o Existence and number of veto points within national political systems; o National political institutions offering or suppressing supportive resources. • Policy structure and advocacy coalitions (Europeanisation Domains: Public policy and cognitive/normative structures): o Domestic socio-economic conditions and welfare state traditions; o National employment policy characteristics; o National cleavages and interest representation related to employment policy. • Timing of reforms: o National political and economic background variables with a view to the period under analysis. • Supra- and international constellations: o Supra- and international influences as sources of adaptation pressures. 2.2 Intervening Variables Boosting or Blocking Domestic Change caused by Europeanisation The present chapter enters the empirical part of the theoretico-empirical frame of reference. It deals with key intervening variables of both the chosen policy area and the political systems of the UK and Germany. Its first sub-chapter examines the domestic institutional capacity to boost or block Europeanisation. It especially highlights central veto points of the national political systems and main institutional arrangements that offer or restrict resources and access, such as the central state executive (including the head of state and the government), EU-related policy-making and co-ordination structures, the parliament (including patterns of the respective domestic political party system) as well as national interest organisations. Moreover, as the EES requires and strongly promotes the involvement of social partners into the process of setting up the annual National Action Plans (NAPs) (cf. chapter 3.2), a view at relevant social partnership arrangements, domestic structures of (tripartite) social dialogue and related traditions within the UK and Germany is of special interest–also in order to define domestic advocacy coalitions/epistemic communities. So, the first sub-chapter goes, moreover, into detail concerning key national cleavages and interest representation structures related to employment policy, identifying potential norm entrepreneurs in the policy field. The second sub-chapter analyses the underlying socio-economic conditions in the UK and in Germany, such as central welfare state traditions and employment policy characteristics. The third sub-chapter Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 112 turns to other supra- and international constellations, such as EMU, OECD, or IMF initiatives, that potentially exert impact on domestic change parallel to the EES. Moreover, this sub-chapter highlights main aspects of the timing of the EES, such as political party constellations, national elections and main domestic reform processes until the inception of the EES in 1997. 2.2.1 Domestic and Cognitive/Normative Structures: National Institutional Capacity and Veto Points – Central Characteristics of the UK and Germany In order to identify central domestic structures defining the national institutional capacity for Europeanisation, to locate key veto points for adaptation and to pinpoint at political institutions that offer or restrict resources within the domestic political process, a brief introduction to the political systems of both the United Kingdom and Germany is indispensable. The central characteristics of these two political systems are assessed to form distinct systemic models of a unitary, centralised, majoritarian-style Westminster political system on the one hand, and a federal, de-centralised, consensus-oriented political system on the other. Both systems stand for polity alternatives that enable and restrict political actors in different ways. The United Kingdom: Integrated Leadership, Centralised Polity, ‘Trimmed’ Pluralism, Few Veto Points The specific systemic preconditions of the British political system are assessed to provide a rather low number of veto points with a view to Europeanisation of national employment policy through the EES. According to constitutional conventions (cf. Bogdandor 1996), the UK is a “hereditary but constitutional monarchy” (Kavanagh 2000:54), in which “the Queen may be said to reign, [but] .. does not rule” (Kingdom 1999:338). In political reality, the system tends towards a concurrence-oriented parliamentary democracy based on a strong majoritarian system of government, also known as the Westminster model (Sturm 2002:228; cf. Ismayr 2002b:48; Lijphart 1999:9). With a view to its political culture, the UK is said to be generally characterised by liberalism with a strong sense of voluntarism and belief in the self-regulation of society accompanied by the Victorian tradition of societal self-organisation especially in the social sector (Kingdom 1999:168; Sturm 2002:248f.). The state is built upon a unitary structure, although it is composed of four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales; cf. Kearney 1990). So, marks of ‘asymmetric decentralisation’ pay tribute to this national diversity (cf. Sturm 2002:227; Kavanagh 2000:20; Kingdom 1999:143ff.) with devolution achieved in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (cf. Bogdandor 1999; Bulmer et al. 2002). As a constitutional Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 113 principle, all competences not formally transferred to the subnational levels remain with the central state level (Sturm 2002:227). Related to the national co-ordination of EU policy-making, before devolution, the influence of the subnational level merely focused on representing “their particular territorial interests at the policymaking stage, whether at ministerial or administrative level” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:398) and on the implementation of policies. After devolution, the newly created subnational executives took over these tasks in their own competence. Given the rather low level of competences, the British subnational entities are, however, not perceived to be powerful veto players with a view to disagreeable EU provisions. Due to its mainly representative and limited political powers, the Crown is no potentially strong veto point nor does it dispose over or offer political resources to other political actors. Resulting from this constitutional arrangement, executive power is divided between the head of state and the government (cf. Ismayr 2002b:15). According to the principles of parliamentary monarchy (cf. Häusler 1995:518ff.), the Monarch’s political functions as official head of state as well as sign for the state’s unity and continuity are limited to rather symbolic tasks (cf. Kavanagh 2000:54; Kingdom 1999:341). Yet, formally she/he34 still rules as ‘Queen/King in Parliament’ (Bogdandor 1997b) and takes over ceremonial, integrative, and representative tasks35 (cf. Ismayr 2002b:16). Yet, she/he also disposes over the so-called ‘royal prerogative’, i.e. “the power to dissolve and summon Parliament [,…] the power to declare war [,…] the power to make treaties” (Kavanagh 2000:54). Politically however, these rights are relevant only in times of crisis with the dissolution of Parliament or the mandate to form a new government in case no majority can be found in Parliament (cf. Kingdom 1999:252; Sturm 2002:229). In only few other countries does the government possess as extensive organisational and procedural competences within the legislative process as in the UK (cf. Ismayr 2002b:49), making it a strong (veto) player within the process of Europeanisation. It provides its members with huge political resources to influence policymaking processes. Deriving from the internal logic of the Westminster model of single-party governments holding parliamentary majority (cf. Ismayr 2002b:29), a strong government coming off and backed by the majority parliamentary party is the central characteristic of the British executive (cf. Kavanagh 2000:53). All government ministers and state secretaries have to be members of Parliament. This principle provides for a strong personal interlinkage of about one-third of the majority parliamentary party with the government. It leads to a tight interwovenness of Parliament and government, facilitates governmental control over Parliament, and 34 Remark on description of gender: Throughout this study, the starting point for the order of pronouns generally is the present-day office-holder. Both genders are listed, if among past office-holders there were women as well as men. 35 Such as the official opening of the annual parliamentary session with the speech from the Throne prepared by the Prime Minister (Schmidt 1982:202), the formal nomination of the head of government, foreign representation and assent to legislation (Kingdom 1999:341f.; Schmidt 1982:219). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 114 strengthens the position of the Premier (cf. Ismayr 2002b:21; Schmidt 1982:185 and 203; Sturm 2002:234). The Prime Minister is the most powerful political actor within the British government and allegedly so within the overall political system. He disposes over tremendous political resources rooting in a broad range of competences (cf. Ismayr 2002b:26; Kavanagh 2000:256). The Prime Minister’s powers to appoint ministers, parliamentary private secretaries, permanent secretaries and other high-ranking officials give him great patronage potential and a strong organising power, strengthening the trend towards presidentialisation of British politics (cf. Foley 1993; Mugham 1993; cf. Ismayr 2002b:21; Kavanagh 2000:112; Schmidt 1982:183; Sturm 2002:234f.). Adding to these competences is his power to dissolve Parliament, which British Premiers often use in order to disciplinate his/her own majority parliamentary party, to put pressure on the opposition or to tactically dissolve Parliament before the official end of term to provide for a well-fitting date for new general elections (cf. Ismayr 2002b:24; Schmidt 1982:184). With a view to the British EU-related policy preparation and co-ordination process, the role of the Prime Minister (cf. Kavanagh 2000:83) becomes evident at different stages of the political year during the preparation of “regular European Council sessions, regular EU items on the agenda of Cabinet meetings, and frequent bilateral summits with EU counterparts” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:395). Within the preparatory process, the Prime Minister is supported by the Cabinet Office’s European Secretariat (cf. below) and its head as his main adviser on EU affairs (cf. Bulmer/Burch 2000:10). The government as a whole is characterised by three main principles: departmental responsibility, Cabinet responsibility, and the dominance of the Prime Minister (Kavanagh 2000:20; Sturm 2002:233f.). In line with the principle of departmental responsibility (cf. Bogdandor 1997a), each minister is individually responsible to Parliament for her/his own conduct and the work of her/his respective department. The principle gives her/him huge power and influence within the respective portfolio (Kavanagh 2000:50ff. and 244ff.) in national as well as European policy-making. The inter-departmental co-ordination of EU-related policy-making follows the standard co-ordination procedure across Whitehall36 characterised by “a strong information-sharing value within the British civil service” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:394). The procedure follows a strongly centralised approach, applying wellestablished administrative routines that accentuate co-operation and co-ordination. It is effectively organised to link all relevant actors and resorts of government in a given policy field (Bulmer/Burch 2003:13; Kassim 2001:49; Wessels/Rometsch 1996:332). The members of government as well as ministerial officials of the different departments are key political actors with a view to the preparation of EU-related decision-making. The central co-ordination body of this process is the European 36 A geographical term serving as synonym for the central state ministerial bureaucracy (cf. Sturm 2002:236). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 115 Secretariat of the Cabinet offices (cf. below). Given that their policy domains are more strongly affected by the EU than those of other departments (cf. Amstrong/Bulmer 2003:396; Bulmer/Burch 2003:7), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) (cf. Bulmer/Burch 2000:9; Kavanagh 2000:83) hold more outstanding positions within the EU-related decisionmaking process. Moreover, the FCO “bears overall responsibility for European policy” (Kassim 2001:51) and is the central technical interface holding communicative ties with UK’s Permanent Representation (PermRep) in Brussels, the latter being subordinated to the former (Kassim 2001:48). Additionally, the FCO monitors all EU policy fields. Owing to the principle of departmental responsibility, within each ministry EU units and experts are involved in the preparation of EU policies “and nearly every department has EU co-ordination facilities” (Bulmer/Burch 2000:9; cf. Kassim 2001:49). Several inter-departmental committees co-ordinate the work of the different ministries within the preparation of binding British negotiation positions for Brussels, among them the so-called ‘EQO’ and ‘EQO*’ as well as the Sub- Committee on European Issues (EDOP) to the Ministerial Committee on Defence and Overseas Policy (DOP). The EQO-level is chaired by the head of the Cabinet Office’s European Secretariat or by one of the office’s officials and comprises senior (EQO*) and middle-rank (EQO) officials (Bulmer/Burch 2000:11). “The former [EQO*] meets infrequently but the latter [EQO] often, although … often ad hoc” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:397). Moreover, specialised sub-committees can be established. Finally, the Ministerial Sub-Committee on European Issues (EDOP) coordinates political aspects of EU initiatives (cf. Kassim 2001:50). It unites the key ministers and reports “via the Foreign Secretary, as Chair, to the full Ministerial Committee on Defence and Overseas Policy (DOP) but, more usually, direct to the Cabinet itself, where there is a regular EU agenda item” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:396). With these specific features of central co-ordination, the British governmental process related to EU policy is assessed to be a “business of preparing, making and implementing European policy [that] has been characterised by considerable efficiency at the official level” with a very distinct British way “outside the continental mainstream” (ibid.:388). Nevertheless, “a highly co-ordinated European policy such as the United Kingdom’s may [also] bring inflexibility” (ibid.:399). The central authority and co-ordination body of British EU-related policy-making is the Cabinet Office’s European Secretariat (COES) (cf. Bulmer/Burch 2000:9). It is “considered to be a more neutral agency than the FCO for bringing together the wide spectrum of ministerial views, since the latter’s experience lay in diplomatic matters” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:396; cf. Kassim 2001:50). It receives all European Commission proposals as well as information on planned legislation through the UK Permanent Representation (PermRep) and forwards them to the departments in charge. Aiming at early agreement on positions, it organises and guides the coordination and consultation process between the different ministries involved (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:396). It is responsible for setting up British negotiation Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 116 positions and related “trouble shooting where interdepartmental problems arise” (Kassim 2001:50). Negotiation positions are discussed and deliberated among the key ministers within the COES’s so-called ‘Friday meetings’, including also the British Permanent Representative to the EU (cf. Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:397; Bulmer/Burch 2000:11). The Secretariat centrally monitors official implementation schedules within a network of legal experts (EQO(L)) “chaired by the Cabinet Office Legal Adviser, who is located in the Treasury Solicitor’s Department” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:397). Due to the close interlinkage between the Cabinet office and the Prime Minister’s Office (cf. Bulmer/Burch 2003:13), also known as ‘No. 10 Downing Street’ or ‘No. 10’, the European Secretariat holds close links to the latter, informing and counselling the Premier on EU affairs before European Council meetings (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:397). According to the principle of Cabinet government (cf. Burch/Holliday 1996; Hennessy 1986; James 1999; Rhodes/Dunleavy 1995; Smith 1999), the government is collectively responsible for government decisions taken within the Cabinet (cf. Kingdom 1999:404f.). Thus, the Cabinet is the central governmental deliberation and potential decision-making body (cf. Ismayr 2002b:25f.). The British Cabinet is a strong centre of preparation of legislative proposal, settlement of departmental conflicts and partially also of decision-making (cf. Schmidt 1982:188). Also because of the strong secrecy rules related to its work (cf. Sturm 2002:231 and 237) that is steered by the Prime Minister (cf. Kavanagh 2000:53), the Cabinet clearly privileges governmental actors within the political process. It disposes over a distinct organisational structure including a multitude of standing or ad-hoc Cabinet (sub-) committees (cf. ibid.:238ff. and 251ff.; Kingdom 1999:410ff.; Sturm 2002:235). Especially the Prime Minister makes use of these Cabinet committees which are coordinated by his/her Cabinet office. They are not only fora of preparation, but potentially also for decision-making, bypassing the Cabinet itself (cf. Kingdom 1999:423; Schmidt 1982:180). This potential bypass in mind, the Cabinet cannot fully be assessed to be the core decision-making and steering body, as those competences remain with the Prime Ministers and are partially exercised by him/her within the Cabinet committees (cf. Ismayr 2002b:27). Given that the government tightly controls and influences Parliament through its interwovenness with the majority parliamentary party, the analysis of the real influence of the British Parliament on domestic change through Europeanisation provides for the judgement of being a rather weak veto player (cf. Schmidt 1982:179). Anchored in the constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty as the highest source of democratic power, the British Parliament–composed of two chambers, the House of Commons and the House of Lords–traditionally forms the centre of the British legislative process (cf. generally Bagehot 1963). Legislation of Parliament cannot be overruled by any other political actor (cf. Dicey 1959:39f.). The directly elected lower chamber, the House of Commons, is in charge of classical parliamentary tasks (cf. Sturm 2002:230). It is characterised as a ‘speaking parliament’ (cf. ibid.). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 117 The Parliament is the highest judicial authority and formally the House of Lords holds the function of the highest court (cf. Knill 1995:31). Thus, also the nonexistence of a constitutional court in the UK roots in this principle (cf. Kavanagh 2000:56; Kingdom 1999:67). Any delegation of parliamentary power to either a subor a supranational entity–be it in the course of devolution or European integration–is perceived to be against the constitutional convention of parliamentary sovereignty and to challenge national sovereignty. It has, therefore, been a source for strong political resistance (cf. Kingdom 1999:68; Sturm 2002:227). Yet, the government, that is, primarily the Prime Minister, decides over the agenda of the Parliament and its committees as he/she does in case of the Cabinet and its committees (cf. ibid.:423; Schmidt 1982:181 and 205). Contrary to the German case, preparatory work and deliberation upon legislation within specialised standing committees does not play a strong role. Committees are not allowed to substantially change neither the essence of a proposal nor its wording, both having already been agreed upon by the majority parliamentary party before submission to the respective committee (cf. Kavanagh 2000:277; Sturm 2002:240f.). So, the committee summarises its primarily legislative-technical criticism as amendment to the proposal or as proposals for change (cf. Ismayr 2002b:33; Sturm 2002:241). Since 1979, so-called ‘select committees’, mirroring the work of the respective departments, increasingly support and enhance control tasks of Parliament. Generally, compared to its strong involvement into the legislative process the British Parliament only holds limited control rights and opportunities (cf. Sturm 2002:231). Within the process of EU policy co-ordination, real influence of the House of Commons is rather weak, even if the ‘scrutiny reserve’ principle obliges the government to consult Parliament before final Council of the EU decision-making (cf. Kavanagh 2000:82). The Common’s “European Scrutiny Committee monitors proposals from Brussels and decides whether fuller debate is necessary, normally in one of three European Standing Committees for the debate of different domains of EC legislation” (Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:400). Nevertheless, party discipline and low public attention often limit the outcome of debate and the impact of the Common’s. The upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords (cf. Shell 1992 and 1994), is largely perceived as a subordinate and–as until 1999 it was not democratically legitimated–anachronistic part of the British parliamentary structure without decision-making competences of its own (cf. Kavanagh 2000:285; Ismayr 2002b:30; Sturm 2002:232). The 1998 reform of the Labour government initiated a transformation from “hereditary peerage” (Kavanagh 2000:5) to a system of nomination as of 2001 onwards (cf. Sturm 2002:230 and 232). With deliberative functions and a legislative veto power of only one year suspension period, which is also excluded for some parts of legislation (cf. Ismayr 2002b:31; Schmidt 1982:217f.), it is, however, no strong veto player within the political system. With its Select Committee on the European Communities and its six sub-committees it, nevertheless, has earned honours within deliberation on EU-related policy-making processes in the UK (cf. Armstrong/Bulmer 2003:401; Sturm 2002:233). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 118 Due to the logics of majoritarianism at the expense of representativeness (cf. Kavanagh 2000:116), the British party system (cf. Webb 2000) is characterised by a bipolar structure. The Conservative Party (cf. Norton 1996) and the Labour Party (cf. Pelling/Reid 1997; Shaw 1996) are the two dominant poles of the domestic party-political scale (cf. Ismayr 2002b:39). Looking at the entire landscape, however, the system has to be categorised as a bipolar multi-party system (cf. Sturm 2002:241), as it additionally comprises other parties such as the third political power (cf. Kingdom 1999:292), the Liberal Democrats (cf. MacIver 1996; Wilson 1966), that are, however, the main ‘victims’ of the electoral system with its votes–yet one fifth of votes in general elections–not proportionally represented within Parliament (cf. Ismayr 2002b:43; Sturm 2002:245). Nevertheless, the Liberal Democrats are assessed to form a relevant political power, offering “a non-socialist alternative to the Conservatives” (Kavanagh 2000:151) The prevalent divide within the British party system roots in the labour-capital cleavage and the significance of social classes (cf. Adonis/Pollard 1997; Devine 1997). It is represented by the Labour Party and the Conservatives as the two major political parties of the system (cf. Butler/Stokes 1969:90; Curtice/Steed 1980:402; Ismayr 2002b:40; Kingdom 1999:168ff.; Sturm 2002:242 and 244). Until the late 1970s, the Labour Party was a strong protagonist of working class rights and organisationally as well as financially strongly interlinked with the trade unions. From the late 1970s onwards, it increasingly departed from classical leftist positions and turned towards ideas of welfare state modernisation through societal negotiation processes that especially favoured trade unions as important actors of the working class within these processes (cf. Kavanagh 2000:189; Sturm 2002:242f.). It went through immense programmatic reconsiderations already during the late 1980s as party leaders recognised “that the party was no longer tuned to the march of history” (Kingdom 1999:284). The reforms resulted in a more positive attitude towards the EC, the recognition of the irreversibility of some of the neo-liberal reforms under the Thatcher government and a revision of Labour’s close relationship with and strong dependency on the trade unions (generally Alderman/Carter 1994; cf. Kavanagh 2000:155; Kingdom 1999:282; Sturm 2002:246). Finally, with Tony Blair becoming party chairman in 1994, the party “targeted the middle class, which is now the majority of the electorate” (Kavanagh 2000:38) and entirely broke with its perception of and affiliation to traditional style socialism (cf. Farnham 1996; Giddens 1998 and 2000; Hennessy 1998; Shaw 1996; Sturm 2002:243ff.). On the other ideological end, the Conservatives, uniting a neo-liberal and a constructive state interventionist strand, known as the ‘Tory’ strand (cf. Kavanagh 2000:143), traditionally represent strong market liberalisation with a low degree of welfare state elements (cf. Blake 1985; Sturm 2002:242f.).37 Over the past decades, the general movement towards the political centre partially approximated these antipodal political positions as “[s]ince 1970, the fragmentation of the party system, weaker party loyalties, and the growing complexity of social 37 For more details on the political priorities of the Conservative Party cf. chapter Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 119 class have made it less useful to think of a classed-based two-party system in Britain” (Kavanagh 2000:37). So, during the 1970s party alignment began to loosen parallel to certain “class dealignment” (ibid.:128). Given this trend towards polarisation of the political spectrum, a certain political vacuum began to appear at the centre of the party system form the early 1980s onwards. Due to the prevalent labour-capital cleavage, the domestic pluralist landscape of socio-economic interest organisations (cf. Kingdom 1999:516ff.; Lijphart 1999:177; Menz 2003:536; Zagelmeyer 2004:21) strongly influences British employment policy-making. Labour interests and trade unions are traditionally associated to the Labour Party (cf. Kavanagh 2000:155), while stakeholders of the economy and industry are closer to the Conservative Party or Liberal Democrats (cf. Lieberam 1982:427; generally Beer 1956). Especially with a view to collective bargaining, pluralism is extremely striking as it takes place de-centralised, un-co-ordinated and dependent on a multitude of individual and/or group interest (cf. Treib 2004:100). However, in socio-economic and employment policies as well as with a view to industrial law, two main national confederations of the opposing camps–the Trade Union Congress (TUC)38 and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)–dominate (cf. ibid.). As a peak organisations, they are, however, not directly involved in collective bargaining (cf. Zagelmeyer 2994:21). Regardless of their “organisational fragmentation, as well as relatively low level of horizontal co-ordination” (ibid.; cf. Jacobs/Orwell/Paterson/Weltz 1978:5), trade unions have traditionally been a strong player within the British political system. Due to its early industrialisation, the UK was one of the first countries to witness the evolution of a working class parallel to the development of British capitalism and to set up trade unions for their interest representation in the 19th century (cf. Lieberam 1982:390). In 1868, parallel to the establishment of the German Federation of Trade Unions (cf. below), the British national confederation of trade unions (TUC) was established in order to bundle organisational pluralism and to influence policymaking within the House of Commons (cf. Greenleaf 2003:86; Kavanagh 2000:189; Lieberam 1982:397). After the Second World War, trade union and Labour Party leaders tended towards a policy of mitigation between the different societal classes, leading towards a rather low aggressiveness of trade unionists’ activities (cf. Lieberam 1982:413). Within the period to come until the fundamental neo-liberal policy reforms and deprivation of trade unions’ power by the Thatcher government (cf. Holliday 1993), trade unions increasingly withdrew from the tight affiliation to the Labour Party due to the latter’s rapprochement to the middle class (cf. Kavanagh 2000:189; Lieberam 1982:414). With this move, they attracted new members and succeeded to reappear as powerful actors of British policy-making. The economic and political developments during the 1980s and 1990s as well as the movement of Labour closer to economic interests led to a certain alienation of the Labour Party and trade unions (cf. Kavanagh 2000:189; Sturm 2002:247). As a result, “unions have been in retreat for the past two decades [since the 1980s]. Rising unemploy- 38 Uniting thirty-eight trade unions in 2000 (Kavanagh 2000:155). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 120 ment, … and changes in work patterns, has reduced the membership over that period by over a third. … [Moreover, t]he legislation of the Thatcher government has also helped to shift the balance of influence to employers and to individual union members as against union leaders” (Kavanagh 2000:191). Due to these developments, traditionally strong trade unions lost political power within the process of the industrial reconstruction and modernisation of the British economy ever since the 1980s. The conservative Thatcher and Major governments (1979-1997), during which also the “opportunities for unions to consult with the government have been greatly reduced” (Kavanagh 2000:192), strengthened this trend. Especially under Thatcher, trade unions tremendously lost grounds because of the legal regulation of the previously broad and unregulated collective bargaining practice (cf. Heise 1999/2000:38; Kavanagh 2000:145; cf. chapter Moreover, contrary to the British tradition of societal voluntarism, aspects of working conditions became subject of jurisdiction (cf. Zagelmeyer 2004:21) and did not remain within the autonomy of trade unions any longer. As a consequence of the neo-liberal orientation of the Thatcher and Major governments, the supersession of trade unions from the central political process increased during their terms (cf. Marsh 1992). So, after “a back-slapping ‘beer-and-sandwiches’ heyday under the Wilson government, a frosty cold shoulder from Thatcher” (Kingdom 1999:521) accompanied this rather ‘non’-success story. Nevertheless, at company level trade unions are still strongly represented through so-called shop-stewards (cf. Kavanagh 2000:196), positions already institutionalised during First World War (cf. Lieberman 1982:404). Finally, due to the increasing loss of members, the traditional division into numerous separate branch-related trade unions proved to be inadequate, fostering trade union merger and the organisation within larger trade union federations (cf. Sturm 2002:248). Different from their German equivalents, British trade unions today do not promote a confrontative attitude towards companies and industry in general. They operate as partners rather than as opposing power within labour-capital relations (ibid.). With their particular record of continuous debilitation and decline in political relevance at central state level over the past 30 years, trade unions have to be assessed as weak or weak to medium veto points within the political process at central state level concerning also their influence on the Europeanisation of employment policy co-ordination through the EES. “In Britain, employer organisations arose in response to the development of the unions, which they in some ways resemble, especially in their structure” (Jacobs/Orwell/Paterson/Weltz 1978:8) and fragmented/pluralist landscape. The peak business organisation relevant in view of British employment policy-making is the CBI founded in 1965 in order to influence governmental economic planning and consultation mechanisms (cf. Kavanagh 2000:192). It “embraces large private corporations, nationalized industries, multinationals, and small firms” (ibid.). This fragmentation creates huge diversity of interest areas, ranging from tax-cuts over reduction of trade union influence towards increasing privatisations. Ever since its establishment, the relationship between the CBI and successive governments was rather tight, even if some authors perceive the influence of business interests Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 121 generally as rather weak (cf. Heise 1999/2000:38). As a second huge interest representation at central state level, “the Institute of Directors [IoD] has emerged as a vigorous spokesman for free enterprise, and differs from the CBI in wanting much less state intervention, more privatization, and free-market policies” (ibid.). The IoD has become especially powerful under the Thatcher and Major governments, while the CBI slightly lost grounds during this period (cf. Burgess 1994:93; Treib 2004:101). With the New Labour government under Blair, both the trade unions and the interest organisations of the economy re-extended their influence compared to previous Conservative governments, although especially the relationship to trade unions was weaker than under previous (old) Labour governments. However, ever since New Labour, TUC and CBI are integrated into policy-making by ad-hoc consultations and early information, albeit usually without any tendency towards tripartite dialogue meetings (cf. Treib 2004:192). The tradition of tripartite social dialogue is a rather unknown and weakly developed instrument of British socio-economic and employment policy-making (cf. Kavanagh 2000:179). Early examples, however, are the National Joint Advisory Commission and the Joint Advisory Council that had been set up during the Second World War and continued their work also after 1945 (cf. Paulmann 1993:444). As another tripartite social dialogue body, the National Economic Development Council (NEDC – also known as ‘Neddy’; cf. Kavanagh 2000:193) was established in 1961. It consists of six TUC representatives (TUC secretary general and chairmen of the biggest branch trade unions), six CBI delegates, representatives of the nationalised industries, independent experts, the NEDC’s director general and ministers (cf. Schmidt 1982:190). The NEDC, set up as a “consultative body embracing labour, capital and government, .. was a timid entry into the area of economic planning (indicative rather than commanding) and corporatism” (Kingdom 1999:490) modelled according to the French Commissariat-Général au Plan. It, yet, never reached the latter’s rank in economic policy preparation (cf. Schmidt 1982:190). From 1979 onwards, the Conservative governments distanced from this tripartite body, and social partners made no real effort to transform it into a powerful body of socioeconomic policy preparation or consultation as they assessed it to threaten their autonomy. Moreover, trade unions were especially reluctant as they perceived the NEDC as an attempt to subordinate them to long-term economic planning by the government (cf. Schmidt 1982:190). Other such tripartite institutions–apart from a multitude of advisory committees– were the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the Manpower Services Commission, and the Health and Safety Commission, all established in the mid- 1970s (cf. Kingdom 1999:523; Paulmann 1993:444). Most of these tripartite bodies were suspended by the Thatcher government, with the integration of the TUC into policy-making in general reduced to a minimum (cf. Treib 2004:101). Given the missing tradition of formalised tripartite social dialogue at national level, the most important access points for interest organisations and stakeholders to the political process across Whitehall are formal or informal consultations within the Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 122 ministries at an early stage of decision-making as well as during the implementation phase (cf. Kavanagh 2000:181; Knill 1995:311; Schmidt 1982:199). Interest organisations are also integrated into the EU-related co-ordination process via consultations with the relevant ministries, even though formal and institutionalised procedures for this integration are missing (cf. Treib 2004:105). With a view to employment and labour market policies, trade unions as well as industry representatives make use of several ‘informal channels’ in order to promote their positions. The primary lobbying target for both the TUC and the CBI is the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) (cf. ibid.). Given that the predecessor of the DTI, the Board of Trade, was in charge of administering the labour exchange and job placement offices since their establishment in 1909, the DTI is traditionally responsible for the central co-ordination of social partners’ integration into national policy-making (cf. Paulmann 1993:32). The Labour Ministry–that is, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)–is the other relevant point of access to Whitehall as it administers unemployment benefit, wage subvention programmes, and the Manpower Services Commission (cf. Reissert 1985:6). With the ‘joined-up government’ initiative of the Labour government under Tony Blair, the integration of civil society, stakeholder organisations and social partners into the political and especially the implementation process through the ministerial bureaucracy was emphasised and strengthened (cf. Sturm 2002:238).39 At EU level, the TUC is mainly represented through the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), while the CBI is represented via the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations in Europe (UNICE). Germany: Fragmented Leadership, De-centralised Polity, ‘Corporatist Style’ Pluralism, Several Veto Points Germany is a parliamentary democracy, comprising concurrence- and concordancedemocratic elements (cf. Ismayr 2002a:482), characterised by a multi-party system favouring the former, and a political culture with an increasing tendency towards a participatory approach (cf. Rudzio 2003:545) supporting the latter. The German state structure–an antagonism to the unitary state structure of the UK–offers many institutional features that enable especially subnational actors to play an important role within the political system (cf. Goetz 2003:60). The state is characterised by a federal structure (cf. Roberts 2000:97). Thus, according to the above presented assumptions of intervening variables influencing Europeanisation (cf. chapter, its de-centralised leadership favours several veto points and players. It empowers them to potentially block the process of Europeanisation in case of domestic policy and political opposition. The Federal Republic of Germany 39 A summary of veto points’ powers within the British political system is given together with those of the German political system at the end of chapter Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 123 is composed of sixteen federal states (cf. Laufer/Münch 1997). All sixteen Länder dispose over their own state structures and, although varying in details, all sixteen are parliamentary democracies (cf. Rudzio 2003:361ff.). Due to strong co-operation interlinkages between the Länder and the central state level, the Federal Republic is also labelled a ‘unitary federal state’ operated through ‘co-operative federalism’ (cf. Ismayr 2002a:447, 2002b:46; Rudzio 2003:388f.). Rooting in this form of co-operative federalism, the German parliamentary democracy shows distinct features concerning its federal level institutions and political processes (cf. König 1999; Kropp/Sturm 1999; Männle 1997 and 1998) that strongly assemble EMLG structures. Rather than being strictly divided according to policy fields, competences are functionally separated between the federal state and the Länder level (cf. Roberts 2000:102). Contrary to the UK, legislation generally lies with the Länder, if not delegated to the federal level by the Basic Law, the German Grundgesetz (cf. Ismayr 2002a:459). Legislation is divided into joint, concurrent40, and framework legislation between the federal and the Länder level (cf. Roberts 2000:100; Rudzio 2003:377). In terms of policy areas, the Länder hold exclusive legislative competences in only few policy areas, such as education, culture, parts of environmental policies, policing, social services and communal law (cf. Ismayr 2002a:460; Roberts 2000:101f.). Besides partaking in federal legislation via the Bundesrat, the second chamber of parliament (cf. below), the Länder are responsible for supranational and federal policy implementation, leading towards a strong political and functional interlinkage of the different political levels (cf. Ismayr 2002a:447; Roberts 2000:104 and 138; Rudzio 2003:376ff.; Thomas/Wessels 2006:160; cf. generally Scharpf 1985 and 1988). With a view to EU-related policy co-ordination, the Länder dispose over own so-called ‘Länder Observer’ based in Berlin and Brussels, monitoring relevant supranational activities (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:157). These ‘Länder Observer’ may partake in Council meetings in order to report back to the Bundesrat (cf. Maurer 2003:132). Additionally, since 1985, the Länder established own offices in Brussels to be directly represented at the European level and are involved in the Committee of the Regions (cf. Maurer/Wessels 2001:102; Roberts 2000:174f.; Thomas/Wessels 2006:158). Since the Maastricht Treaty, Länder representatives are permitted to officially participate in Council Meetings as a result of bottom-up Europeanisation (cf. Jeffery 2003:101; Thomas/Wessels 2006:156). Thus, Länder ministers are empowered to “represent the Federal Republic in the Council in cases where the exclusive competencies of the Länder” (Maurer 2003:134) are concerned. These competences provide the Länder with a strong veto position within the federal policy-making process (cf. Ismayr 2002b:46). As a characteristic feature of parliamentary democracies, the German federal executive is split, with the head of state being the highest political office, but not belonging to the government (cf. Ismayr 2002b:15). In times of ‘smooth’ political 40 According to articles 72 and 74 of the Basic Law employment policy falls under the area of concurrent responsibility (cf. Hartwich 1998:99). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 124 performance of the system, the German Federal President can, yet, not be assessed to be a powerful veto player or source of political power. Based on the experiences of the Weimar Republic, the indirectly elected Federal President (cf. Rudzio 1999) has been designed by the Basic Law as a rather weak political actor with only scarce political resources (cf. Ismayr 2002a:448; Rudzio 2003:346f.), having “more in common with the position of a constitutional monarch than with that of a politically active president” (Roberts 2000:113). He41 holds merely representative, ceremonial, and integrative competences42. He has to formally approve federal legislation, but can refuse approval due to legal reasons if the respective legislative process was not in line with constitutional principles (cf. Ismayr 2002a:448; Roberts 2000:115f.). Despite his so-called ‘Reservefunktion’, i.e. the power to resolve conflicts in case of political gridlock43 (cf. Rudzio 2003:351), which he, due to stable party political constellation, did not yet have to perform (cf. Ismayr 2002b:18), the Federal President does not dispose over fundamental autonomous political powers to influence the content or timing of day-to-day decisionmaking. The German federal government comes off and relies on the majority parliamentary parties within the Bundestag, which form the government coalition (cf. Ismayr 2002b:18; Rudzio 2003:235f.). Contrary to the British tradition, members of the German government – except for parliamentary state secretaries–do not have to be members of parliament (cf. Ismayr 2002a:457, 2002b:21). Nevertheless, a strong interlinkage between the government and the (coalition) parliamentary parties traditionally exists. The head of the German government, the German Chancellor, is elected by the majority of the Bundestag, that is, the (coalition) government parties. This elective function is generally viewed as the basis for the central position of the parliament within the German parliamentary democracy (cf. Ismayr 2002a:446; Rudzio 2003:256). According to the constitutional principle of ‘Richtlinienkompetenz’ or ‘chancellor principle’ (cf. Maurer 2003:119; Rudzio 2003:284ff.), the German Chancellor, like the British Premier, is a very strong player within the federal and the European political arena. He sets the strategic guidelines of national policies as well as positions on EU policies and represents Germany within the European Council (cf. Ismayr 2002b:26; Maurer 2003:119f.; Roberts 2000:117; Sturm/Pehle 2005:47 and 50; cf. Clemens 1994; Smith 1991). Additionally, even if to a far lesser extent than the British Cabinet office (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:144), the German 41 The German Federal President is labelled only as ‘he’ given that so far no woman ever held this office. 42 E.g. as the formal nomination of the head of government, the formal foreign representation of Germany under international law, and the assent to legislation given the office a strong notarial touch (cf. Rudzio 2003:348). 43 Such a ‘Reservefunktion’ is the autonomous decision on the dissolution of parliament only in case of a failed Chancellor election within the Bundestag (cf. Ismayr 2002b:18; Roberts 2000:115). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 125 Chancellery provides for “a high strategic planning input … in European affairs” (Maurer 2003:138).44 The Chancellor, moreover, possesses organisational power to form the government and is de iure autonomously responsible for the nomination of political personnel for most relevant positions, such as ministers or state secretaries (cf. Ismayr 2002a:456; Rudzio 2003:284f.). Even though, owing to the logics of coalition governments, party politics play an important role related to government composition, these competences remarkably strengthen her/his political patronage power. Generally, in day-to-day politics, the Chancellor’s strong position is, yet, limited by the reality of federal coalition governments and the necessity to serve party political interests of both her/his own party and the coalition partner. This de facto reduces her/his ‘Richtlinienkompetenz’ (cf. Goetz 2003:68; Rudzio 2003:285; Saalfeld 2000:53) in favour of the cabinet and the resort principle (cf. Ismayr 2002a:458, 2002b:26; Roberts 2000:121; Sturm/Pehle 2005:50). Owing to the strong position of the Chancellor, the political system of the Federal Republic has also been categorised as ‘chancellor democracy’ (cf. Niclauß 1999:36). Similar to the British case, even if not as intensively, the departmental and cabinet principles are of special relevance for political work and performance of the German government (cf. Ismayr 2002a:456). Following the departmental principle, that is, the so-called ‘Ressortprinzip’ (cf. Rudzio 2003:293), every minister is autonomously responsible for the work of her/his department within the general strategic and political guidelines established by the Chancellor. According to the general ‘collective government’ or ‘cabinet principle’ (cf. Maurer 2003:119; Rudzio 2003:290f.), the Cabinet builds the government’s core decision-making centre. It forms the place for the settlement of inter-departmental conflicts (Rudzio 2003:290), with the Chancellor and the ministers collectively taking binding decisions (Ismayr 2002a:459). Thus, also in EU-related policymaking the cabinet provides for an inner-governmental arena for the settlement of inter-ministerial conflicts given that these, due to the strong autonomy of the different departments and the principle of agreement on political positions at the lowest ministerial level (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:162), are often not effectively resolved during the inter-departmental co-ordination procedure (cf. Maurer 2003:119; Treib 2004:83). Chaired by the Chancellor, the cabinet is subdivided into a multitude of working groups and cabinet committees for the preparation of work and decisions (cf. Ismayr 2002a:459, 2002b:27; Roberts 2000:125). Nevertheless, compared to the UK, these cabinet committees are no central organs of decision-making as formal decisions can only be taken by the Cabinet and not by the committees themselves (cf. Rudzio 44 Under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, both the Lisbon Strategy and the Stability and Growth Pact were given top priority by the Chancellery (cf. Maurer 2003:122f.; Thomas/Wessels 2006:144). After the 2005 elections, responsibility for the Lisbon Strategy was, however, transferred to the Ministry of Economics and Technology (cf. Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Die Bundeskanzlerin 2005:II.b). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 126 2003:292). Yet, due to its huge workload, the Cabinet is de facto no real place for extensive decision-making and, hence, not really a strong political steering body (cf. ibid.:296 and 301). Following the inherent logic of coalition governments, so-called ‘coalition talks’ or ‘coalition committee sessions’ between the leaders of the government, parliamentary parties involved in the government and of the coalition parties often precede cabinet sessions. They create first and second order government members (cf. Ismayr 2002a:452, 2002b:28; Roberts 2000:125) and establish an informal decisionmaking centre at the expense of the cabinet (cf. Rudzio 2003:301). Regarding EU-related policy-making, European or International Affairs units have been established within most of the federal ministries (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:47; Thomas/Wessels 2006:146). Following the departmental principle, every ministry acts autonomously within the areas of its competences. They prepare COREPER sessions, Council working groups, and Council negotiations in policies of lead-competences. They horizontally and de-centrally co-ordinate the respective topics with the other ministries involved (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:162). Overarching hierarchical co-ordination of positions within a central unit at federal level does not exist (cf. Goetz 2003:59; Thomas/Wessels 2006:135; Treib 2004:83 and 86). The ministerial bureaucracy is deeply involved into EU-related policy preparation and policy-making (cf. Roberts 2000:172). It is, hence, a very important political actor, holding direct contacts to supranational institutions in Brussels, such as through the integration into the Commission comitology system (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:46; Thomas/Wessels 2006:145f. and 105). “Unlike the situation in … the United Kingdom, this principle [nevertheless also] hinders the different branches of the German government in their attempts to develop coherent approaches to EC policy-making” (Maurer 2003:119; cf. Roberts 2000:173). One of the many interfaces between Brussels and the national arena is the German Permanent Representation in Brussels (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:146ff.). It is responsible for transferring Commission proposals and draft European bills to the Foreign Ministry and (within the period under analysis in this study) the Ministry of Economics and Technology45, the latter being responsible for forwarding them to the ministries in lead-competence of the respective policy co-ordination and implementation processes46. Preparatory work is largely done by heads of departments and divisions. The former focus on more far-reaching planning and co-ordination topics, while the latter concentrate on technical issues. Parliamentary state secretaries and ministers of state are also involved in view of political aspects of policy preparation (cf. Maurer 2003:123). Inter-departmental co-ordination of EU-related policies is not performed by a single and special governmental unit. Within the period und analysis, it was, since 45 Until November 2005: European division of the Ministry of Finance; before 1998: Ministry of Economics (cf. Roberts 2000:172; Thomas/Wessels 2006:135). 46 For the process before the 2006 changes cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:51ff.. Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 127 November 2005, organised again by the Ministry of Economics and Technology47, responsible for COREPER I and II48 and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, responsible for COREPER II49 (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:140 and 143). The latter does not play a dominating role in the day-to-day co-ordination process, but is in charge of horizontal issues of European affairs, such as the preparation of IGCs or enlargements (cf. Maurer 2003:124; Thomas/Wessels 2006:140). The Ministry of Economics and Technology50 is also in charge of notifying implementation measures to the European Commission and is responsible for monitoring the implementation of EU policies (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:112). Caused by the original idea of European economic integration and accompanied by the non-existence of a German Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1955, the Ministry of Economics traditionally51 took and still takes an outstanding position within the German EU policy co-ordination process (cf. Maurer 2003:120; Maurer/Wessels 2001:106; Sturm/Pehle 2005:45). Moreover, the Ministry of Finances and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are deeply involved in the co-ordination of preparation of EU policies at national level (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:140ff.; Treib 2004:83). Nevertheless, none of the three ministries “has a monopoly in giving Germany ‘a voice’ in the Brussels arena” (Maurer 2003:122). As in the UK, also in Germany several inter-ministerial committees are responsible for the co-ordination of EU policies at federal level (cf. Maurer/Wessels 2001:113). The weekly meetings of the so-called ‘Tuesday Committee’ are attended by heads of divisions dealing with technical aspects of proposals and policies for the COREPER as well as with the settlement of inter-ministerial conflicts (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:52; Thomas/Wessels 2006:146 and 163). Moreover, ad-hoc meetings of the European Delegates of the ministries deal with fundamental aspects of EU-Affairs, especially those that might lead to disagreement among ministries. The European Delegates also prepare instructions for COREPER (cf. Maurer 2003:127; Thomas/Wessels 2006:146 and 163). The heads of the ministerial EU-divisions meet about every three weeks. The meetings comprise all ministries and are led by the Foreign Ministry. Meetings intend to work as early warning mechanism, identifying 47 From 1998 to November 2005: Ministry of Finances; until 1998: Ministry of Economics (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:143f.). 48 Budget, financial and fiscal policies. 49 Except for ECOFIN, budget, financial and fiscal policies. 50 Until 2006: Ministry of Economics and Labour. 51 The Ministry of Economics did so until 1998, when the EU Department (so-called ‘Grundsatzreferat’) was transferred to the Ministry of Finance due to internal bargaining processes of the incoming first Schröder government with his party rival Lafontaine aiming at a concentration of power within the Ministry of Finances that was then still foreseen to be headed by him (cf. Goetz 2003:66). In November 2005, this department was re-allocated to the Ministry of Economics and Technology. Until 1998 the Ministry of Economics, hence, disposed over its traditionally strong position as it “chaired the inter-ministerial committees on EC affairs, formulated and transmitted the negotiation instructions to the diplomats in the PermRep of Germany in Brussels, and finally, disposed of the Secretariat of the Committee of State Secretaries on European Affairs” (Maurer 2003:124; cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:45). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 128 possible areas of conflict between the departments. Moreover they generally steer EU-related policy planning (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:164). With this focus, the heads of the ministerial EU-divisions prepare the meetings of the state secretaries on EU affairs. Within the Inter-ministerial Committee of State Secretaries on European Affairs, the state secretaries of the Ministries of Finance, Economics, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Industries, Justice, Labour, Environment, the Head of the State Chancellery, the German Permanent Representative to the EU and–depending of the topic to be discussed–also ministers of other relevant ministries meet about monthly (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:164f.)–every six to eight weeks in practice. The Committee is chaired by a minister of state of the Foreign Ministry that acts “as the main interlocutor in dealings with the Cabinet of the federal government” (Maurer 2003:124; cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:54; Thomas/Wessels 2006:146). The Committee’s deputy chairperson is provided for by the Ministry of Economics and Technologies.52 The main task of the Committee is to “settle controversial questions and to prepare dossiers of a political and strategic nature with regard to the Council of Ministers’ meetings” (Maurer 2003:126). Given this overall picture of the governmental processes, the co-ordination of EU-related policy-making in Germany is assessed to be a “fragmented structures in a complex system” (Maurer 2003:115; cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:43) dominated by the government. It is perceived to suffer the “syndrome of sectoral conflict, weak coordination and the arrival at a German position only at a late stage in negotiation” (Bulmer/Jeffery/Paterson 2000:28 quoted in Goetz 2003:58; cf. Treib 2004:83). As “[n]ear to the problem – far from the centre” (Maurer 2003:123), it follows the political system’s three central logics of federal government (resort, cabinet and chancellor principle) and is characterised by de-centralised co-ordination procedures with a strong “multi-level complexity and segmentation” (ibid.:117), “sectorisation” (Roberts 2000:172) and “horizontal differentiation” (Maurer 2003:122). With “a lack of clear strategy and of rapid position-taking .. which can leave the German delegation in a minority position on the Council” (ibid.:119) it is often assessed to suffer “from horizontal and vertical fragmentation, old-fashioned and cumbersome procedures, ‘negative co-ordination’, ‘institutional pluralism’, and ‘institutional cannibalism’” (ibid.; cf. Maurer/Wessels 2001:102). Nevertheless, German federal de-centralised co-ordination structures and the overall approach of departmental responsibility are rather close to the structures of the Council and, therefore, assessed to provide for adequate co-ordination and problem-solving mechanisms not per se inefficient due to horizontal co-ordination and fragmentation (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:44). The parliament has to be regarded as a strong veto player within the German political system. The federal German parliament (cf. Beyme 1997 and 1998; Ismayr 2000; Oberreuter/Kranenphol/Sebaldt 2001) is the only directly elected federal organ of the German political system (cf. Rudzio 2003:235). It is the central legislative 52 Until November 2005 Ministry of Finance; until 1998: Ministry of Economics (cf. Maurer 2003:121). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 129 body of the Federal Republic (cf. Beyme 1998), designed as a two chamber parliament. The first chamber, the Bundestag, is a ‘working parliament’53 based on the explicit division of legislative work into various specialised standing committees. These committees mirror the ministerial set up of the government (cf. Ismayr 2002a:450; Roberts 2000:135; Sturm/Pehle 2005:78) and the proportional division of the plenum. Contrary to the British case, the work within these standing committees makes up the largest part of parliamentary work, including changes and reformulation of legislative proposals (cf. Rudzio 2003:276ff.). Within committee deliberation on important bills, public hearings of experts and interest organisation can be held to input expertise. Such hearings are a frequent means of integrating stakeholders already at this very early decision-making stage (cf. Ismayr 2002a:453; Roberts 2000:135). Recommendations formulated by the standing committees already prejudge formal voting within the plenum (cf. Ismayr 2002a:450). The agenda of the standing committees is up to their own decision. Parliamentary parties (cf. Schüttemeyer 1998) are organised alongside the structure of the standing committees and are divided into parallel working groups (cf. Rudzio 2003:246f.). The German Bundestag disposes over extensive control mechanisms to scrutinise government activities and to impact decision-making and legislation, which are mainly used by the opposition (cf. Stadler 1984). Moreover, the “chancellor can … be removed by the Bundestag if that chamber passes a constructive vote of no confidence in him or her, that is a vote on a motion stating that the Bundestag has no confidence in the incumbent and simultaneously nominating a named successor” (Roberts 2000:118; cf. Rudzio 2003:257f.). Contrary to the UK, the German Parliament has a stronger de iure influence on the preparation of EU-related policy-making given that it needs to be fully informed by the government on ongoing European proposals and documents (cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006:150). It, additionally, can ask for suspension of the decision on a common position within the Council, if parliamentary scrutiny of the respective proposal is not yet finished (cf. Saalfeld 2003:80ff.). Furthermore, the opinion of the Bundestag has to be taken into account in German negotiation positions of the government (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:65). The Bundestag’s Committee on European Affairs (cf. Roberts 2000:173; Strum/Pehle 2005:66ff.) “can be empowered to exercise the Bundestag’s rights in relation to the federal government or address its recommendations directly to the government unless another committee opposes” (Maurer 2003:129; cf. Thomas/Wessels 2006: 150f.). Nevertheless, de facto the government does not have to take the position of the Bundestag as a binding basis for its voting within the Council (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:73; Treib 2004:82), weakening that special role of the Bundestag and its Committee on European Affairs (cf. Saalfeld 2003:83). 53 Rather than a ‘speaking parliament’ like the British Parliament, even if some authors assess the Bundestag to be a mixture of both given that it shows traces of both the American Congress and the British House of Commons within its working structure (cf. Rudzio 2003:277). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 130 Given its strong impact as a working parliament on legislation and especially due to its extensive control options, the Bundestag can be regarded as a stronger veto player than the British parliament, even if the course of European integration has substantially weakened its legislative autonomy due to the transfer of national sovereignty and competences to the European level that strengthened the German government also in the national arena (cf. Saalfeld 2003:80; Sturm/Pehle 2002:43, 81). Contrary to the British House of Lords, the second chamber of the German parliament, the Bundesrat (cf. Ziller/Oschatz 1998), holds a strong position within the federal legislative process and, thus, constitutes a strong veto player at federal level (cf. Bailey 2002:792). It is said to be “the most powerful second chamber in western Europe” (Roberts 2000:137) and a “specifically German organ” (Rudzio 2003:319). It adds concordance-democratic elements to the system and in certain constellations balances also party competition (cf. Ismayr 2002a:447; Rudzio 2003:330). The Bundesrat even strengthened its strong position with the expansion of federal legislative competences (cf. Ismayr 2002b:31) that went hand in hand with a certain “unitarisation” (Fabritius 1976:448) of the German federal system (cf. Ismayr 2002a:455). It comprises delegated members of the Länder governments that are bound to instructions of their governments. As a typical feature of federal states, it stands for the integration of subnational entities’ interests into federal legislation (cf. Rudzio 2003:319 and 321) and policy-making (cf. Ismayr 2002b:30f.; Roberts 2000:105 and 138f.). It has to give assent to a high number of legislative proposals, in which consent is needed between the federal and the Länder level (cf. Rudzio 2003:324). It can–even if only as a whole–also launch proposals for national legislation. Moreover, it has the right to veto legislation of the Bundestag in policy areas, in which Länder competences are affected (cf. Ismayr 2002b:31; Roberts 2000:105; Sturm/Pehle 2005:85; cf. above). In cases of dissent between the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, the topic is transferred to a special mediation committee, the ‘Vermittlungsausschuss’, in order to seek agreement and to reshape the respective bill (cf. Rudzio 2003:270). The ‘Vermittlungsausschuss’ can, hence, be regarded as an institution providing the Länder with additional political resources to influence federal decision-making and legislation (cf. Ismayr 2002a:455, 2002b:31; Roberts 2000:105). The overall working structure of the Bundesrat is modelled according to that of the Bundestag. It is divided into several standing committees (cf. Rudzio 2003:278), in which decisions are prepared and pre-evaluated for formal decision within the plenum (cf. Ismayr 2002a:454f.; Roberts 2000:140). Yet, due to the representation of Länder governments, the Bundesrat can also be captured by party political interests (cf. Roberts 2000:139). Thus, it is an especially strong veto player within federal policy-making in moments of party political opposition of the majority within the Bundesrat to the government majority in the Bundestag (cf. Rudzio 2003:328). In such constellations, the former is able to substantially block national legislation (cf. Ismayr 2002a:455, 2002b:31; Roberts Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 131 2000:105; Rudzio 2003:279; Sturm/Pehle 2005:28).54 Nevertheless, just like the Bundestag, the Bundesrat suffers cutbacks in competences caused by European integration given that supranational legislation bypasses its systemic opportunities to influence national decision-making and substantially favours the national government at the expense of the influence of the Länder at federal level (cf. Maurer 2003:131; Sturm/Pehle 2005:93 and 95). Even more so alarmed are the Länder by the loss of influence related to the OMC. This ‘soft’ policy instrument is viewed to interfere directly into the Länder’s rights and to deprive them of some of their formal competences in areas that the fall under their authority, such as education and research, social policy or health care (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:99). Thus, the benefit of the OMC in view of innovation through policy learning runs counter to the systemic problems it implies for the autonomy of subnational policy-making in Germany. The Bundesrat tries to compensate these cutbacks with a direct involvement into the shaping of EU-related policy positions and decisions at federal level. It influences federal EU-related co-ordination mechanisms especially through its European Union Affairs Committee and its European Chamber (cf. Roberts 2000:173; Thomas/Wessels 2006:153). While the former regularly prepares decisions for the Bundesrat’s plenary, the latter acts as a fast-track unit for EU-related decisionmaking only in ‘inter-plenary’ times (cf. Maurer 2003:134). As in the case of the Bundestag the government is obliged to notice the opinion of the Bunderat in cases, in which the competences of the Länder are affected (cf. Sturm/Pehle 2005:87; Thomas/Wessels 2006:154). In view of its party political landscape, Germany is characterised by a bipolar multi-party system (cf. Alemann 2001; Gabriel 2001; Niclauß 2002; Padgett 1993) with two major political forces, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), and three other (smaller) parties, the Green Party (Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN), the Liberal Democrats (FDP) (cf. Roberts 2000:78) and the (post-communist) party of democratic socialism (Die Linke). Additionally, several minor parties exist, none of them relevant in view of coalition building at the federal level (cf. ibid.). Major traditional cleavages are represented by the labour-capital (cf. Ismayr 2002b:40), religious-secular and catholic-protestant divide (cf. Ismayr 2002a:465; Rudzio 2003:141). With the emergence of the Green Party during the 1980s, this traditional cleavage structure was amended by the new cleavage ecology-economy (cf. Frankland/Schoonmaker 1992; Kleinert 1992; Poguntke 1993; Raschke 1993; Rudzio 2003:154). Finally, the East-German post-communist Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) that merged with the West German ‘Wahlalternative Arbeit und Soziale Gerechtigkeit’ (WASG) into Die Linke, brought about an additional east-west 54 In the opposite constellation it will rather support the work of the Bundestag and, hence, smooth party political conflicts. Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 132 cleavage55 (including a critical assessment of the free market economy and of international peace issues) and re-strengthened the traditional labour-capital divide (cf. Betz/Welsh 1995; Moreau/Schorpp-Grabiak 2002; Roberts 2000:85f.; Rudzio 2003:168). With these amendments, the traditional cleavages partially took a back seat and new demarcation lines of the party political arena emerged (cf. Ismayr 2002b:44f.), resulting also in an increase in numbers of floating voters (cf. Ismayr 2002a:463; Rudzio 2003:157; Wiesendahl 1998). In view of this German cleavage structure, the two (still) dominating parties of the party system, the CDU/CSU and the SPD, in the course of the Bonn Republic, transformed “into ‘catch-all parties’, enabling them to appeal to voters beyond the confines of their traditional church-related or working-class milieux” (cf. Roberts 2000:78). As in the UK, however, labour interests and trade unions are still traditionally associated with the Social Democrats, although Die Linke, due to more radical positions, managed to become an alternative to the SPD in this segment. On the other hand, interests of the economy and the capital are closer to the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Democrats (cf. Ismayr 2002a:463), although the latter, due to a missing own “’milieu’, such as the churches for the CDU-CSU or the trade unions for the SPD” (Roberts 2000:84), did never manage to become major political party in terms of electoral turn out. The CDU/CSU became the leading political power in post-war Germany (cf. Kleinmann 1993) “attracting electoral support from voters of all social classes, particularly those who attended church regularly. It [also] has a ‘social wing’ which emphasised policies of social welfare” (Roberts 2000:81). Programmatically, however, it tended towards Christian conservatism, neo/ordo liberalism, promotion of economic growth within a free market economy, and anti-socialism (cf. Rudzio 2003:158ff.). Following its 19th century tradition of classical working class party (cf. ibid.:140) closely linked to trade unions, the SPD, already in the late 1950s, moved towards the integration of middle-class voters by moderating former socialist approaches and emphasising Keynesian politics with its 1959 Godesberger programme (cf. Ismayr 2002a:466; Roberts 2000:83; Rudzio 2003:149). With the programmatic changes of the 1989 Berlin programme (cf. Rudzio 2003:162), it also integrated an ecological dimension to this broadened programmatic approach (cf. Lösche/Walter 1992). Ever since the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany, numerous social interest groups (cf. Reutter 2000:9ff.) “were seen as having important functions – of representation, of policy initiation, of linkage between government and governed – and that these group[s] therefore should be protected and fostered” (Roberts 2000:152). Interest organisations not only strongly influence German national policy-making from ‘outside’ the official political process. With their direct incorporation into different official organs of decision-making, implementation, and binding 55 With Die Linke (although gaining grounds in the West German Länder) being a strong political power largely in the East German Länder (cf. Ismayr 2002:466; Rudzio 2003:154) and Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN being strong mainly in West Germany (cf. Roberts 2000:84). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 133 interpretation (such as advisory boards of ministries, the self-administration organs of the Federal Employment Agency, the Bündnis für Arbeit, cf. below), they rather form an essential part of the system itself. This integration into the political process, with interest organisations being represented in about 189 ministerial advisory boards and 174 supervisory boards of the federal state executive in the early 1990s (cf. Rudzio 2003:104), and the overall German pluralist interest representation landscape leaves evident “intermediate neo-corporatist” (Menz 2003:536) traces on the German political system (cf. Rudzio 2003:103; cf. Culpepper 1999:30; generally Weßels 2000). Following the dominance of the labour-capital cleavage, the most important group of German interest organisations are stakeholders of labour and economic interests (cf. Ismayr 2002a:469; Roberts 2000:164). Founded back in the 19th century, trade unions and employers’/trade federations have always been central political players of policy-making in general. As in the UK, the two distinct camps are associated to political parties (cf. Rudzio 2003:70 and 74): trade unions to the SPD and/or the employees’ wing of the CDU, while employers’ organisations hold closer relations to CDU/CSU and/or the FDP (cf. Sebaldt 1997; Treib 2004:80). Since its post-war re-foundation in 1947/49 (cf. Jacobs/Orwell/Paterson/Weltz 1978:122; Schmid 1987:4f.), the most important trade union peak organisation, originally founded in 186856, the same year as the British TUC, is the German Federation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB)57, consisting of several branch-related member unions on which it is relying also financially (cf. Menz 2003:538; Roberts 2000:154; Rudzio 2003:75). Yet, a huge number of branch trade unions still remain outside the DGB, like the Federation of German Civil Servants (Deutscher Beamtenbund)58 (cf. Ismayr 2002a:470; Treib 2004:80). Due to this remaining divide of the German trade union landscape into numerous branch-related trade unions, a strong fragmentation of labour interests, a decrease in membership and the merger of several branch trade unions was to be witnessed in recent years (cf. Ismayr 2002a:470; Roberts 2000:155). The trade unions united under the roof of the DGB form the greatest block of labour representation in Germany (cf. Rudzio 2003:78). Formally and financially independent, but associated to the SPD (cf. Ismayr 2002a:470; Roberts 2000:155), they hold a very strong position within the organisation of labour relations. Based on 56 Already during the German Empire, trade unions profited from the guaranteed right of 1871 to build coalitions, which forms the basis for their growth and development. Additionally, the law on works councils (1920), the law on industrial law courts (1926) and the law on job placement and unemployment insurance (1927) supported the protection of workers rights, the development of collective industrial law provisions and the growing relevance of trade unions to enforce them (cf. Hartwich 1998:94ff.). 57 Membership in 2002: 8 member-unions, 7,772,795 individual members (cf. Rudzio 2003:75); rate of unionisation: 40% (cf. ibid.:81); figures indicating at a decreasing willingness to formally organise (cf. ibid.:82). 58 Membership in 2002: 47 sub-federations, 1,300,000 individual members (cf. Rudzio 2003:75). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 134 their right to free collective bargaining (Tarifautonomie)59 with employers’ organisations, they consolidated their power within the German political process, acting with quasi-legislative power in the field (cf. Hartwich 1998:93ff. and 102; Heylen/Poeck 1995:591; Jacobs/Orwell/Paterson/Weltz 1978:49f.; Menz 2003:549). This autonomy substantially limits state competences, such as to set branch-related minimum wages, and creates a ‘state-free’ arena in the given field (cf. Ismayr 2002a:470). It, thus, is an institutional provision that provides both trade unions and employers’ organisations with huge influence regarding a core policy area and additionally strengthens their overall position as potentially strong veto players within the German political system. Among the national economic and industrial interest representations (cf. Weber 1987), the Confederation of the German Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, BDI)60, founded in 1949, represents the interests of companies of the German industry, while the Confederation of German Employers (Bundesverband der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände, BDA)61, also founded in 1949, promotes employers’ interests of several sectors of (producing) industry within the political process and vis-à-vis trade unions, focusing strongly on “liberal re-regulation” (Menz 2003:548; cf. Ismayr 2002a:469; Roberts 2000:155; Rudzio 2003:74; Treib 2004:80). Additionally, the German Chamber of Commerce (Deutscher Industrieund Handelskammertag, DIHKT)62 lobbies interests of trades, crafts, agriculture, and self-employed (cf. Rudzio 2003:77). Tripartite social dialogue is a common instrument of German industrial relations, even if not institutionalised in a formal way (cf. Pilz/Ortwein 1997:259; Treib 2004:81). Among the most important, prominent and manifest tripartite social dialogues at federal level was the Konzertierte Aktion under the grand coalition of 1966. Within this neo-corporatist framework of economic steering, trade unions, employers’ and business organisations as well as government officials deliberated on reform proposals to escape the recession and to boost economic growth (cf. Hartwich 1998:104 and 58). The various advisory boards (Beiräte) and expert committees affiliated to the ministries are another form of this very frequent model of 59 Following this principle of the Tarifautonomie that was legally fixed by integrating it already into the Weimar Republic’s constitution (Art. 165(1)) and that was formally acknowledged, yet, without comparably strong constitutional status, by the Federal Republic of Germany, branch trade unions and employers’ organisations collectively negotiate compulsory branch wage agreements (Flächentarifvertrag) at regional or industry level according to strict formal rules and without the intervention of the state (cf. Robinson 1991:57; Rudzio 2003:107ff.). Negotiated wages also function as minimum wage scale, creating problems for more flexible solutions for the labour market given that this minimum wage is still relatively high compared internationally (cf. Culpepper 1999:12; Hartwich 1998:103). 60 Membership in 2002: 35 branch organisations, 80,000 members (cf. Rudzio 2003:75); organising degree of total industrial companies: 70-85 pp (cf. ibid.:81). 61 Membership in 2002: 52 member organisations, 1,000 employers’ organisations (cf. Rudzio 2003:75); figures indicating at a decreasing willingness to formally organise (cf. ibid.:82). 62 Membership in 2002: 83 chambers of commerce, 55 craft chamber, 10 agricultural chambers (cf. Rudzio 2003:75). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 135 tripartite social dialogue (cf. above). One of the grandchildren of the Konzertierte Aktion, the Alliance for Jobs, Training and Competitiveness (Bündnis für Arbeit, 1998-2002) was one of the most recent examples for such federal level tripartite social dialogue meetings in employment policies (cf. Rudzio 2003:95 and 103; cf. chapter As in the British political system, interest organisations and stakeholders are integrated into the political process at a very early stage of the policy preparation phase, be it by issuing opinions for the development of a proposal within the ministerial bureaucracy or (later on in the legislative process) by statements during public hearings within the respective parliamentary committees (cf. Roberts 2000:152; Treib 2004:79). Moreover, and as outlined above, advisory boards (Beiräte), expert committees closely attached to ministries, are one distinct channel of influence to integrate relevant interest organisation, experts, and scientists into policy advisory groups (cf. Menz 2003:538; Rudzio 2003:95). In this context, labour interests are traditionally more closely affiliated to the Ministry of Labour, while economic interest organisation hold closer links to the Ministry of Economics (cf. Roberts 2000:164; Rudzio 2003:96; Treib 2004:79f.). Being used to decision-making within a federal political system, interest organisations, for most effective lobbying, try to access every political level of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as of the European Union in order to inject their priorities into policy-making at the most adequate political level (cf. Ismayr 2002a:470; Roberts 2000:158). Like in the case of their British counterparts, the DGB is affiliated with the ETUC, while the BDI/BDA is represented at European level by the UNICE (cf. Roberts 2000:175; Treib 2004:84). The integration of interest organisations into the German co-ordination process related to EU policies remains, yet, weakly institutionalised, focused on the preparatory and implementation phase (cf. Maurer 2003:119) and cannot be compared to the national legislative process with its various provisions for tripartite co-operation (cf. Treib 2004:83). Within employment policy-making, trade unions and employers’ organisations are, thus, informally integrated into co-ordination processes, if EU policies are perceived to need national interest organisations’ expertise in order to be adapted to national necessities (ibid.:84). Theoretico-Empirical Frame of Reference 136 From the above outlined premises of the British and the German political system, the following conclusion can be drawn on potential veto points within the political process: Table 14: Veto Points and National Political Institutions Offering Resources Potential veto points and national political institution offering resources Feature UK D Structure of State / Subnational entities +/++ ++++ Head of State - - Premier Minister / Chancellor ++++ +++ Government ++++ +++ Parliament + ++/+++ Political Parties ++ +++ Co-ordination Procedure +++ ++++ Interest Organisations / Stakeholders ++ +++ General number of veto points + ++++ Social partner integration in EU-related policy-making + ++/+++ Source: Own design based on chapter 2.2.1 combined with two aspects (italics) inspired by Treib 2004:121 (weak = -; medium weak = +; medium = ++; medium strong = +++; strong = ++++). 2.2.2 Domestic Public Policy and Timing of the EES: British and German Welfare State and Employment Policy Traditions – Fringes of a Gamut? The UK and Germany are characterised by different understandings of the welfare state, employment policy approaches, and social partner integration into domestic employment policy-making. They are, hence, often said to constitute opposite fringes of the gamut of employment policy and welfare state traditions (cf. Hoff 2005:21), which have been identified earlier in this study to form important intervening variables concerning the Europeanisation impact of the EES at domestic level (cf. chapter In order to illustrate the margins of this continuum, the following sub-chapters provide for an introduction into central welfare state traditions and employment policy characteristics of two countries and examine their development until the dawning of the EES in 1997. This introduction is assessed to be of special relevance given that national constellations and reform processes parallel to the EES are perceived to potentially reinforce or undermine its Europeanisa-

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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.