Having a Say and Acting: Assessing the effectiveness of the European Employment Strategy as an intra-governmental coordinative instrument

Mariely López-Santana

Abstract


As the European Union (EU) has strengthened, scholars have emphasized the development of multilevel governance structures and the salience of subnational actors. With the launch of the Open Method of Coordination and the increasing development of non-binding regulations, we must re-consider the potential of this type of governance instrument to serve as an intergovernmental and intra-governmental coordinative mechanism; thus contributing to the development of multilevel governance structures. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and its potential to serve as an intra-governmental coordinative instrument. I argue that this non-binding instrument does informally (de facto) influence intra-governmental relations in member states. In addition, subnational actors have transferred many of these soft principles to lower levels of government. These propositions are explored using data gathered in the EU, Spain, Belgium, and Sweden at both the national and the sub national levels.

Keywords


employment policy; governance; multilevel governance; open coordination; policy coordination; social policy; soft law; Belgium; Spain; Sweden; political science

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