Content

Gaby Umbach, ‘Speeding up the Construction Process’: Post Reform Boost Trends under the Streamlined EES (2003-2005) – Europeanisation Impact Intensified or Blurred? in:

Gaby Umbach

Intent and Reality of the European Employment Strategy, page 392 - 405

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 https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845212470

Series: Studies on the European Union, vol. 1

Bibliographic information
National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 392 concentrated on the EES’s employability and entrepreneurship pillars. Yet, activities to increase female participation were not neglected either. With these reforms, the year 2002 can be regarded as the start of a real change of paradigm in German employment policies, aligning the former more with the overall ‘policy ID’ of the EES than the initiatives of the four previous years. The change of paradigm was, yet, not merely instigated by the EES itself or the European level. It was also the result of national intervening variables, such as the scandal related to wrong placement figures and statistics of the FES. Additionally, within the process of legal transposition of the ‘Hartz’ reform concept, the impact of domestic veto points (cf. chapter 2.2.1.2) became obvious in the role of the Bundesrat. As a consequence, the ?-convergence (similarity towards a common model) of previous years again increased in 2002 and was rather symmetrical. This approximation of German employment policies to the overall ‘policy ID’ of the EES was, yet, partially spoiled by the abolition of the Alliance for Jobs in 2002, contradicting the EES’s social partnership paradigm. Finally, apart from the presentation of the changes assessed to be instigated by the ‘Job-AQTIV Act’, the 2002 German NAP, as did its predecessors, strongly focused on the implementation report of previous years’ initiatives. The stronger focus on Länder level initiatives with separate parts on the Länder annexed to the NAP was, yet, new to the German NAP practice. 5.2.2 ‘Speeding up the Construction Process’: Post Reform Boost Trends under the Streamlined EES (2003-2005) – Europeanisation Impact Intensified or Blurred? The 2003 and 2004 recommendations highlighted persistent negative variables, such as insufficient childcare facilities and disparities in pay between the genders to still hamper further improvement of equal opportunities (cf. Council of the EU 2003e:24). The employment rate of older people was criticised to still stay even below the 1997 German reference figure and to lag far behind most of other EU member states (cf. ibid., 2004b:50). Given the alarming economic forecasts, the recommendations called Germany to strongly concentrate on the further improvement and implementation of an active-preventive employment policy approach, especially focusing on the enhancement of labour market performance in East Germany (cf. ibid. 2003e:24). Moreover, unfavourable tax provisions and high nonwage labour costs were assessed to still create constant disincentives to take up work, with a considerable degree of labour market regulations–inter alia the German wage formation system, i.e. compulsory branch wage agreements (Flächentarifvertrag) and the Günstigkeitsprinzip–inhibiting further job creation (cf. ibid.). The 2003 recommendations urged Germany to further improve the efficiency of job placement assistance and active labour market initiatives and to focus on the enhancement of employment performance in East Germany to combat the national labour market division. They also asked the government to systematically reconsider and eliminate regulatory barriers to foster job creation, to improve more flexible work organisation National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 393 schemes, to further promote and implement national lifelong learning initiatives with special attention given to low-skilled and older workers, to further tackle the gender pay gap by improving childcare facilities and adapting working hours as well as to reform the tax-benefit system to make work pay and introduce a stronger coupling of individual job search activity and benefit eligibility (cf. ibid.). The 2004 recommendations took up these suggestions and emphasised the need to • develop a strategic approach for the integration of older and foreign workers into the labour market; • strengthen incentives to take part in lifelong learning initiatives, especially targeting at low-skilled, older and SME workers as well as to further reform the dual vocational system; • increase efforts for flexibilisation of work organisation and training by especially strengthening social partners’ engagement in regional and sectoral differentiation; and to • facilitate regulation to start-up businesses and strengthen the German entrepreneurial sector (cf. ibid. 2004b:51). While the 2003 NAP (focusing on the definition of a national employment policy strategy), listed the recommendations in the annex and integrated the government’s responses into the text itself (cf. Federal Republic of Germany 2003:42), the 2004 NAP (focusing on the implementation report of the 2003 national strategy) provided a comprehensive response to the 2004 recommendations, yet, at a less prominent place than in the 2002 NAP (cf. ibid. 2004:43-49 and 5). Given that in 2005 no recommendations were issued, no such section appeared in the 2005 NRP, which focused on the evaluation of the 2003 national employment policy strategy (cf. ibid. 2004:5). In 2003 and 2004, the German government responded to the recommendations on adaptability by pointing at previous reforms to reduce tax burden on labour and the income tax rates, the 2002 ‘Job-AQTIV Act’ and the ‘Hartz’ reforms, the ‘Agenda 2010’ (including a reform of dismissal protection), the 2003 programmes ‘Jump plus’ and ‘Jobs for the Long-term Unemployed’. It, moreover, referred to the 2004 ‘Act in the modernisation of Statutory Health Insurance’ (Gesetz zur Modernisierung der gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung), the 2003 ‘Act to Safeguard the Sustainable Basis of the Statutory Pension Insurance’ (Gesetz zur Sicherung der nachhaltigen Finanzierungsgrundlage der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung) and at the results of the 2004 collective bargaining round, including an opening clause in the chemical industry and the increase in working hours in the metal and electrical engineering industry (cf. Federal Republic of Germany 2003:12, 16 and 31, 2004:43 and 45). Concerning the improvement of the entrepreneurial environment, the 2004 NAP referred to the increase of entrepreneurial loans and venture capital of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the 2003 ‘Crafts Code Amendment’ (promoting further de-regulation and simplification of administrative requirements) as well as to continued re-privatisation in East Germany (cf. ibid. 2004:44). Related to the recommendation to increase inclusion and participation especially the ‘Hartz’ reforms National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 394 and their impact evaluation in late 2005 were emphasised to support further activation. The government, additionally, pointed at new tax relieves for certain groups of lone parents operational in 2004 and the gradual increase of the number and quality of childcare places from 2005 to 2010 that was supported by the ‘Daycare Facility Expansion Act’ (Tagesbetreuungsausbaugesetz) of July 2004. It also highlighted measures targeted at older workers, such as, again, the 2001 shift of paradigm of the Alliance for Jobs and the 2003 adoption of statutory regulations for that particular target group as well as the new ‘Immigration Act’ (Zuwanderungsgesetz), including special integration courses (cf. ibid.:45ff.). The recommendations on the national lifelong learning strategy were responded to by referring to the ‘Future of the Education and Childcare Facilities’ (Zukunft Bildung und Betreuung) programme to target at foreigners in order to increased investments in the establishment of additional childcare and all-day school places, to the adoption of the national ‘Strategy for Lifelong Learning in the Federal Republic of Germany’ in July 2004 that particularly targeted low-skilled and older workers, modifications in vocational training schemes and modernisation of training regulations (cf. ibid.:47f., 2003:18). During the period of the synchronised, streamlined, and welded EES the general German government priorities in employment policy-making focused on • sustainable consolidation of the budget and reduction of the increasing public deficit to prevent a continuing breach of the SGP; • continuation of tax reduction reforms in 2004 and 2005; • introduction of a flat rate tax for business start-ups, ‘I Inc.’, SME and minimal flat rates for smallest enterprises; • reduction of administrative burdens on SME and business in general inter alia through a new SME and business start-up action plan; • reform and stabilisation of the social security and health care system; • massive improvement of childcare, especially day care facilities and all-day schools to increase female labour market participation; • support for structural reforms in East Germany; • implementation of the ‘Hartz’ reforms; • structural reforms through the ‘Agenda 2010’; • stronger focus on disadvantaged groups, such as long-term unemployed, older and slow-skilled workers; • increase international competitiveness of the German education and dual vocational training system; • increased public investment in innovation and technology to support for the further economic development especially of East Germany (cf. Deutscher Bundestag 2002a:735ff., 2002b:876ff., 2002c:1030ff., 2003a, 2003b, 2004a, 2004b). German socio-economic policies adopted under the new EES covered all ten new EGs. Especially the 2003 ‘Agenda 2010’ and the third and fourth implementation act of the ‘Hartz’ reforms were emphasised to establish a comprehensive reform National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 395 strategy in line with the three new overarching aims of the new EES (cf. chapter 3.2.3.2). “With the Agenda 2010 the German government has presented a farreaching comprehensive strategy for more growth and employment. The core points of the Agenda are as follows: • Cuts in the tax sector and of non-wage labour costs and the promotion of the propensity to invest at the local level should lead to higher private and public consumption and investment activities and thus to higher growth rates. In order to have a more immediate growth effect on employment than previously, the commodity and factor markets will be made more flexible through comprehensive reforms. • More incentives on the labour market will be created and non-wage labour costs will be cut through reforms of the social security systems. • Reducing bureaucratic obstacles is another priority. An efficient administration will promote and relieve entrepreneurial initiatives. • Furthermore, the reforms aim at securing sufficient possibilities for vocational training and the development and quality management in research, education and development, combined with a future-oriented policy on technology and industry. • Through comprehensive reforms the German government will ensure that the social security systems can also be financed in the future” (cf. Federal Republic of Germany 2003:5). In March 2003, Chancellor Schröder presented the ‘Agenda 2010’ that was highlighted to represent “the most comprehensive reform process ever seen in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany” (cf. ibid.:2004:6) after the ‘Hartz’ reforms, aiming to promote far-reaching structural reforms. With the Agenda, the government outlined reforms related to the three most pressing problems of the country: labour market reform, reconstruction of social security systems and promotion of economic growth. Implemented in several steps in 2003 and 2004, it additionally focused on reforms of industry law, new investment programmes, the local financial reform (Gemeindefinanzreform) and further initiatives in education and research (Bundesregierung 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2003d). Outlining single policy reforms related to the active-preventive approach, the 2003 German NAP presented the first two laws to implement the ‘Hartz’ reforms– the so-called first and second ‘Act on Modern Services on the Labour Market’ (Gesetz Moderne Dienstleistungen am Arbeitsmarkt)–as centrepieces to increase activation and prevention. The acts entered into force in January 2003 and included statutory job seekers’ and unemployment registration as a precondition for full benefit payments (cf. ibid.:10). The third and fourth ‘Act on Modern Services on the Labour Market’, implementing the modernisation of the FES, simplifying the entitlement for employment promotion measures and realising the merger of unemployment and social benefit, known as the ‘Basic Security for Job Seekers’ (Grundsicherung für Arbeitssuchende), were announced to enter into force in 2003 and January 2005 National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 396 respectively (cf. ibid. 2004:7, 13 and 37). Moreover, the new ‘Jump plus’ programme was launched in July 2003 “to create new impulses for a reduction of unemployment and in order to prevent long-term unemployment as well as unemployment at the beginning of working life” (cf. ibid. 2003:11). The same underlying intention characterised the new government programme ‘Jobs for the Long-term Unemployed’ (Arbeit für Langzeitarbeitslose), which aimed at the re-integration of 100,000 long-term unemployed into work. It particularly targeted East Germany and disabled as well as disadvantaged groups (cf. ibid.:12). The 2004 NAP additionally presented the 2003 programme 'Re-Entry of the Long-Term Unemployed over 25 into the Labour Market - Work for the Long-term Unemployed’ ((Wieder-) Einstieg von Langzeitarbeitslosen ab 25 Jahren in Beschäftigung – Arbeit für Langzeitarbeitslose), which offers long-term unemployed publicly subsidised work. The programme was “intended to provide a transitional solution until the new regulatory instrument of pooling unemployment assistance and social welfare for employable persons enter[ed] into force on 1 January 2005” (ibid.:14). Regarding young people, the 2004 ‘Special Programme for the Provision of Initial Vocational Training for Young People’ (Einstiegsqualifizierungen für Jugendliche) was outlined to offer publicly co-financed six to twelve months initial vocational training course for those difficult to place (cf. ibid.:15). In order to foster job creation and entrepreneurship, the 2003 NAP pointed at the ‘Service for Business Start-ups Germany’ (Gründer-Service Deutschland), a joint programme of relevant labour market actors. It also highlighted the 2003 SME initiative ‘Pro SME’ (Pro Mittelstand), the ‘Women Starting their own Business’ (Existenzgründungen von Frauen) service centre and the ‘Women in SMEs’ (Frauen im Mittelstand) initiative, all aiming to enhance advice and support for business startups and particularly targeting at women and foreign workers (cf. ibid.:13f.). Moreover, the 2003 NAP presented the merger of the Deutsche Ausgleichsbank and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau as a main measure to improve capital availability to SME. It underlined the ‘Initiative Reduction of Bureaucracy’ (Initiative Bürokratieabbau) to be the main instrument to further reduce administrative burdens on business alongside the reform of the ‘Crafts Trades Act’ in 2003/04 that simplified business start-ups in the crafts sector (cf. ibid.:13f. and 32, ibid.: 2004:17). Moreover, formal business start-up periods were shortened in December 2004 to enable startups’ registration in the Companies register within one month (cf. ibid. 2004:17). As a main activity to promote adaptability and mobility, the ‘Act on Reforms on the Labour Market’ (Gesetz für Reformen am Arbeitsmarkt) entered into force in November 2003. It contains a flexibility approach towards the applicability of protection against dismissal, including relieves for SME with only up to five employees, insofar as fixed-term contracts are not counted as additional employees (cf. ibid. 2003:16). Moreover, the ‘Protection Against Dismissal Act’ (Kündigungsschutzgesetz) was reformed in 2004 and is now applicable to companies with 10 or more employees only instead of the former threshold of five employees (cf. ibid. 2004:19). Finally, the 2002 ‘New Quality of Work’ initiative was announced to be continued until 2006 (cf. ibid. 2003:17). National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 397 As a new initiative to further development human capital and lifelong learning approaches, the 2003 German NAP presented the preparation of a national ‘Strategy for Lifelong Learning’ through a joint Länder-federal level working group (cf. ibid. 2003:18). Subsequently, the 2004 NAP reported on its implementation in 2004 as the national ‘Strategy for Lifelong Learning in the Federal Republic of Germany’ (Strategie für Lebenslanges Lernen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), aiming to ensure employability and increase quality of work and productivity (cf. ibid. 2004:10 and 22f.). Additionally, all-day school places were further supported by the federal level to enhance pupils’ basic skills through the creation of more intense learning environments and business-school contacts were intensified to ease transition from school to work life (cf. ibid. 2003:18). Further measures in this area were the 2003 deferral of the ‘German Regulation on the Qualifications to take up Trainees’ (Ausbildereignungsverordnung) (facilitating the preconditions for vocational teaching), the expansion of the programme ‘Capital for Work’ to trainees, the modularisation of career development, the differentiation and modernisation of vocational training through the introduction of new degrees beside the master craftsman and sectoral diploma (Fachwirte), Länder initiative based on lifelong learning strategies as well as the interlinkage between schools and other training institutes (cf. ibid.:19f.). Moreover, the new ‘Training Campaign 2003’ (Ausbildungsoffensive 2003) and the 2004 ‘National Pact for Training’ provided for an official declaration of the government and the social partners to take necessary actions to provide young people with vocational training places (cf. ibid.: 61; 2005:44). The 2004 German NAP announced the reform of the ‘Vocational Training Act’ (Berufsbildungsgesetz) to increase the recognition of training programmes and to further embrace disadvantaged young persons (cf. ibid.: 2004:24). The 2003 German NAP presented different measures to improve the situation of older workers. They included public wage subsidies for those taking up low paid jobs, unemployment insurance contributions discharges for employers hiring worker over 55 years, the possibility to conclude fixed-term contracts without formal reasons for temporal limitation and without maximum duration, and the “information and recruitment campaign 50 plus – die können es (Over-50s – They Can Do It!), which … has been successfully encouraging employers to take on older people” (ibid. 2002:10, cf. ibid.: 2003:22). The 2004 NAP, moreover, referred to the ‘Pension Insurance Sustainability Act’ (Rentenversicherungs-Nachhaltigkeitsgesetz) to ensure the functioning and effectiveness of the German pension system (cf. ibid. 2004:8 and 27). In view of gender equality, the 2003 NAP announced the programme ‘Information Society Germany 2006’ (Informationsgesellschaft Deutschland 2006) to contribute to the improvement of female participation in ICT. It also highlighted the commitment of collective bargaining partners to pay tribute to gender equality in wage formation and the further revision of the tax system to reduce disincentives for women to take up work. Further initiatives to support equal opportunities were laid down in the provisions of the second ‘Act on Modern Services on the Labour Market’ to improve employment provisions for household support. Moreover, the National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 398 introduction of the ‘Alliance for Families’ (Allianz für Familien) and ‘Local Alliances for Families’ (Lokale Bündnisse für Familien), involving the federal and local government levels as well as the social partners in the creation of family-friendly working conditions, the 2005 federal contest ‘Family-friendly Business 2005’ (Familienfreundlicher Betrieb 2005) and several business-side initiatives such as ‘Monitor of Family-friendly conditions’ (Monitor Familienfreundlichkeit) (cf. ibid.:2003:23ff.) added to this sector. Finally, 230,000 childcare places for those under three years of age were announced to be created from 2005 to 2010 by the ‘Daycare Facility Expansion Act’ (Tagesbetreuungsausbaugesetz) (cf. ibid. 2004:33). In order to promote an integrative labour market, the 2003 German NAP presented the draft ‘Immigration Act’ as a main instrument for social inclusion of foreigners by offering “a unified promotion concept for the inclusion of foreign persons and ‘Spätaussiedler’ (ethnic German immigrants from Eastern European regions)”. In the 2004 NAP, the Act, entering into force in January 2005, was assessed to provide for a legal framework to steer work migration (cf. ibid. 2004:19). The FES additionally launched special pilot projects for the inclusion of immigrants into the labour market in regions of particular high levels of immigrants’ unemployment in 2003. Moreover, the ‘National Action Plan against Poverty and Social Exclusion 2003-2005’ was mentioned to provide for the main strategic approach to social inclusion and the government announced to set up so-called ‘migration services for young persons’ as well as to further develop this approach to integrate young people with a migration background from 2004 onwards under the new ‘Migration Services for Young People’ (Jugendmigrationsdienste/JMD) initiative (cf. ibid. 2004:35). Additionally, the ‘Act on the Promotion of Training and Employment of Persons with Severe Disabilities’ (Gesetz zur Förderung der Ausbildung und Beschäftigung schwerbehinderter Menschen), operational since May 2004, was presented to improve labour market participation of this target group by helping to increase companies readiness to employ and train severely disabled persons (cf. ibid.:35f.). To make work pay, the third step of the national tax reform was announced to be implemented in 2004 instead of 2005 to bring further relief to non-wage labour costs. Also the ‘Hartz’ reforms–especially the social security contributions-free ‘Mini’-Jobs and the contributions-reduced ‘Midi’-Jobs implemented in April 2003– were mentioned to provide for progress in the low-paid sector (cf. ibid. 2003:29). Support for unemployed becoming self-employed and the future merger of unemployment and social benefit, to be introduced with the ‘Hartz’ reforms in 2003 and 2004 respectively, were integrated into the presentation of new domestic approaches to make work pay. These approaches were amended by the 2004 ‘Act on Modernising the Statutory Health System’ (Gesetz zur Modernisierung der Gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung) to improve the quality and efficiency of the German health care system (cf. ibid. 2004:8 and 38) and by “the ‘Alterseinkünftegesetz’ (Act on Income of Older Workers) which .. enter[ed] into force on 1 January 2005, reregulating the taxation of contributions and income of older workers. Tax relief is to National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 399 be introduced gradually for contributions, in particular statutory pension contributions made by employees” (ibid.:38). In order to transform undeclared work into regular employment, the 2003 German NAP referred to the ‘Hartz’ reforms of ‘Mini’ and ‘Midi’ Jobs as well as to the ‘I Inc.’. It also highlighted the August 2002 ‘Act on Simplification of the Fight against Illegal Employment and Moonlighting’ (Gesetz zur Erleichterung der Bekämpfung von illegaler Beschäftigung und Schwarzarbeit) and the integration of moonlighting into the official catalogue of criminal offences to fight illicit work (cf. ibid. 2003:31). Moreover, the 2004 NAP presented the 'Act to Intensify Efforts to Combat Illegal Employment and the Tax Evasion’ (Gesetz zur Intensivierung der Bekämpfung der Schwarzarbeit und damit zusammenhängender Steuerhinterziehung) aligned with the former activities (cf. ibid. 2004:39). Paying tribute to the regional dimension of the EES, the new programme ‘Promotion of R&D in Innovative Organisations with a Potential for Growth in Disadvantaged Regions’ (Förderung von Forschung und Entwicklung bei innovativen Wachstumsträgern in benachteiligten Regionen) in 2003 continued “the successful project promotion for the new Länder and extend[ed] it regionally; it focuses on companies with a high potential for growth and employment. Furthermore, different national innovation promotion programmes will favour the new Länder” (cf. ibid. 2003:34). Moreover, the 2003 NAP presented a new government initiative to strengthen the partnership approach to reduce unemployment, the ‘Team Work for Germany’ campaign (TeamArbeit für Deutschland), including social partners as well as societal stakeholders and interest groups (cf. ibid.:38). This new initiative was, yet, not presented as an alternative for the abolished Alliance for Jobs. Finally, comprehensive parts on Länder programmes and initiatives were again annexed to the NAP as in the previous year (cf. ibid.:43-56) as was an overview on the ‘Hartz’ reform implementation acts (cf. ibid.:55-57f.) and details of the modernisation and re-organisation of the FES (cf. ibid.:59-60). Given the new structure of the 2005 IGs, the 2005 German NRP had to be shaped according to the features of the renewed Lisbon Strategy. Related to the former EGs it, therefore and different from the 2005 UK NRP, responded to the IGs 17 to 24 by grouping the evaluation of German priorities and plans under these IGs. Due to the focus on the evaluation of reforms since 2003, not many new policies were announced in the 2005 German NRP. Regarding its partially imprecise contents, the 2005 NRP explicitly pointed at the period of its formulation falling into the change of government after the 2005 elections that hampered a clear and detailed definition of the new government’s policy priorities until the official release of the NRP (cf. ibid. 2005:2). The 2003/04 and 2004/05 JER drew a quite positive conclusion on single German employment policy reforms (Council of the EU/European Commission 2004:68). Particularly the ‘Job-AQTIV Act’, the ‘Hartz’ reforms and most of all the ‘Agenda 2010’ were assessed to “constitute a strengthened response to the main labour market challenges” (ibid.:67; cf. ibid. 2005b:Addendum 1, 16ff.). The ‘Job-AQTIV Act’ was, however, also assessed not to have directly impacted on the increase in National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 400 efficiency of activation measures (cf. ibid. 2004:68). Especially the ‘Agenda 2010’ was viewed to present a coherent and strategic answer to the three priority areas of the renewed EES (cf. ibid. 2005b:Addendum 1, 16; cf. chapter 3.2.3.2). It was critically assessed that the 2003 NAP did not set any “specific employment target .. . [Moreover, t]he NAP .. [was assessed to] not [have been] presented in a way that explicitly establishes the link between the three overarching objectives” (ibid. 2004:67; ibid. 2005b:Addendum 1, 16). Germany’s employment performance was perceived to have deteriorated even though constant female participation rates were assessed positively. Contrary to that, persistently low employment rates of older worker were critically highlighted as was the continuing division of the Germany labour market in East and West (cf. ibid. 2004:67, ibid. 2005b:Addendum 1, 16). Furthermore, missing childcare facilities, the remaining gender pay gap, the need for a coherent active ageing strategy, a simplified business environment and the need for further integration of immigrants was critically highlighted. While the co-operation between the different state levels was assessed to be of vital importance for the implementation of domestic reforms, the EES itself at Länder level and the implementation of Länder policies were assessed not to be very visible within the NAPs/NRP (cf. 2004:67, 2005b:Addendum 1, 19). Additionally, the proper implementation of new activation measures was perceived to be vital for the overall development of the German labour market (cf. ibid. 2004:68). Adding to this evaluation, the 2004/05 JER considered most of the German efforts to implement the 2004 Council recommendations being in progress, i.e. being “well advanced and progress in implementation is being made” (2005b:Addendum 1, 17; cf. ibid. 2005a), while the progress in the reduction of non-wage labour costs through the reform of social security systems and the improvement of female participation were assessed to be limited, i.e. “policy response to the recommendation is only partial and implementation is limited” (2005b:Addendum 1, 17). Finally, the EES-related part of the 2005/06 JER (cf. ibid. 2006a, 2006b) critically evaluated the 2005 NRP “to present intentions without providing further detail regarding goals, funding, and timetables” (cf. ibid.:2006c:1). This shortage was, yet, attributed to the change of government and the short preparation period for the incoming new government. The 2005/06 JER again criticised missing national employment targets and weak responses to improve the situation of women within the labour market. It positively acknowledged the existence of targets for the integration of young unemployed. The 2005 NRP was, moreover, assessed to put a strong focus on education, lifelong learning and the reduction of youth unemployment as well as on the implementation of the 2002/03 reforms in line with the Council recommendations (cf. ibid.:4). National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 401 Table 40: Main German Socio-economic and Employment Policies and Innovations introduced from 2003 to 2005 Year Policy / Initiative Targeting at Thematically linked to the EES’s topic … Classed under EG 2003 Agenda 2010 Labour Market Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion overarching 2003 First and Second Act on Modern Services on the Labour Market Unemployed, Employees, Older Workers Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1 2003 Jump plus Young People Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1 2003 Jobs for the Long-term Unemployed Long-term Unemployed Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1 2003 Re-Entry of the Long-Term Unemployed over 25 into the Labour Market - Work for the Long-term Unemployed Long-term Unemployed Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1 2003 Special Programme for the Provision of Initial Vocational Training for Young People Long-term Unemployed, Youth Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1 2003 Service for Business Startups Germany Selfemployment, Entrepreneurs Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 2 2003 Pro SME Selfemployment, Entrepreneurs, SME Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 2 2003 Women Starting their own Business Selfemployment, Entrepreneurs, Women Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 2 2003 Women in SMEs Selfemployment, Entrepreneurs, Women, SME Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 2 National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 402 Year Policy / Initiative Targeting at Thematically linked to the EES’s topic … Classed under EG 2003 Initiative Reduction of Bureaucracy Selfemployment, Entrepreneurs, SME Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 2, 9 2003 Crafts Trades Act Selfemployment, Entrepreneurs, SME Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 2, 9 2003 Act on Reforms on the Labour Market Labour force, Employers Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 3 2003 Training Campaign 2003 Young People Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 4 2003 Information Society Germany 2006 Workforce Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 6 2003 Alliance for Families Families Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 6 2003 Local Alliances for Families Families Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 6 2003 Immigration Act Immigrants Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 7 2003 Promotion of R&D in Innovative Organisations with a Potential for Growth in Disadvantaged Regions Regions Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 10 2004 Third Act on Modern Services on the Labour Market Unemployed, Employees, Older Workers Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1 National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 403 Year Policy / Initiative Targeting at Thematically linked to the EES’s topic … Classed under EG 2004 Strategy for Lifelong Learning in the Federal Republic of Germany Workforce Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 4 2004 Reform of the Protection Against Dismissal Act Employers Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, 3 2004 German Regulation on the Qualifications to take up Trainees Training Institutions Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 4 2004 National Pact for Training Young People Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 4 2004 Vocational Training Act Young People Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 4 2004 Pension Insurance Sustainability Act Retirees Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 5 2004 Daycare Facility Expansion Act Families Full Employment, Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 6 2004 Act on the Promotion of Training and Employment of Persons with Severe Disabilities Disabled Persons Improving Quality and Productivity at Work, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 7 2004 Act on Modernising the Statutory Health System Society Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 8 National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 404 Year Policy / Initiative Targeting at Thematically linked to the EES’s topic … Classed under EG 2004 Act to Intensify Efforts to Combat Illegal Employment and the Tax Evasion Fight against Moonlighting Improving Quality and Productivity at Work 9 2005 Fourth Act on Modern Services on the Labour Market Unemployed, Employees, Older Workers Full Employment, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 1, 8 2005 Act on Income of Older Workers Employees Strengthening Social Cohesion and Inclusion 8 2005 Team Work for Germany Social partners, Businesses Full Employment 10 and overarching Source: Own compilation based on chapter 5.2.2 and 3.2.3.2 and 3.2.3.4. While the 2002 NAP presented the start of the fast-track construction of German employment policy reforms, the three NAPs/NRP under the synchronised, streamlined, and welded EES from 2003 to 2005 reported on further reform processes instigated by the 2002 reform boost, such as the 2003 ‘Agenda 2010’ as well as on the effects of the 2002/03 ‘Job-AQTIV Act’ and ‘Hartz’ reforms. Regardless of the functional division of the three NAPs/NRP, they, even if to different degrees, also reported on the adoption of new employment policies. In this context, the 2003 NAP presented the most extensive range of new reforms, while the 2004 NAP and 2005 NRP paid tribute to their revised focus. Among the major policy reforms until 2005 were the ‘Agenda 2010’ with is overarching reform approach, the ‘Acts on Modern Services on the Labour Market’ implementing the ‘Hartz’ reform proposals, the further reform of the FES towards activation, the ‘Job-AQTIV Act’. A broad range of different programmes to combat long-term unemployment, to foster entrepreneurship, to improve female participation as well as the integration of disadvantaged groups and to construct a national lifelong learning approach complemented these reforms. They clearly strengthened activities under all of the former four pillars of the EES and embraced the overall ‘policy ID’ of the EES, leading more towards ?-convergence (similarity towards a common model) than previous domestic reforms. Concerning the quality of the NAPs/NRP, it has to be acknowledged that the documents–of course also due to their functional division–lost their innovative potential over the period from 2003 to 2005. In outlining the overall domestic strategy towards employment policy reform, the 2003 NAP heavily referred back to previous years’ reforms instead of presenting new approaches. It rather self-confidently presented old solutions for the still bemoaned problems of the German labour market. In line with this trend, also the 2004 NAP and 2005 NRP more and more drifted away from the task of presenting new policy proposals and policies. Finally, with National Adaptation to the ‘Policy ID’ of the EES 405 the welding of the BEPG and the EES, the German ‘National Action Plan for Growth and Jobs’ (cf. chapter 3.2.3.4), the EES and the EGs lost the ‘stand-alone’ profile of previous years. Therefore, a step back in visibility and subordination of the EES under the broader macro- and micro-economic focus of the BEPG within the German NRP has to be confirmed as in the case of the 2005 UK NRP. 5.2.3 Interim Assessment: The EES’s Impact on German Employment Policy Priorities – Policy Transfer and Diffusion leading to ?-Convergence? German employment policies disposed over less favourable starting conditions for ?convergence (similarity towards a common model)93, that is, to adapt to the overall ‘policy ID’ of the EES (cf. chapter 3.2.2, 3.2.3.2.2 and 3.2.3.4). Regardless of the ‘anticipating-prophylactic’ supply-side reforms of the conservative-liberal Kohl coalition government until 1998 (cf. chapter 2.2.2.2), Germany was characterised by a stronger misfit to the EES than the UK in 1997/98. In terms of ?-convergence, German employment policy reforms were, hence, placed at a disadvantage compared to the UK. So, given that the EES, in line with the assumptions of the second guiding thesis, exerted stronger Europeanisation pressure on Germany than on the UK (cf. chapter 2.1.2.1 and 2.3.2), reforms were more cumbersome and timeconsuming. Regardless of this need for increased efforts, the 2002 interim evaluation of the implementation of the EES in Germany positively stated that the “European Employment Strategy was implemented in Germany in a comprehensive package of measures that caters to the Strategy’s fundamental concerns and goals. In most areas, the Strategy corresponds to the political guidelines also pursued by the Federal Government in its national policies” (RWI/ISG 2002:2). The overall analysis of German employment policies over the lifetime of the EES until 2005, yet, revealed a certain division of reform intensity into two phases. Activities during the first ‘stand-alone’ period of the EES (1998-2002), explicitly applying no reform “Crashkurs” (Deutscher Bundestag 1999:4654), strongly focused on reforms of the macro-economic, fiscal and entrepreneurial environment in order to consolidate public finances. They aimed at reducing non-wage labour costs and tax burdens on labour in order to foster job creation and at enhancing employability through various activation measures and national education as well as training programmes. The second phase under the synchronised, streamlined, and welded EES (2003-2005) was characterised by a significant boost of overarching reform concepts that focused on the broader context of employment and labour market policy reforms, combining elements of employability, entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities and, thereby, significantly enhancing ?-convergence to the ‘policy ID’ of the EES. 93 Results concerning the other types of convergence (cf. chapter 2.1.2.3.1) will be presented in chapter 6.1.2.

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Zusammenfassung

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.