Structuring the State—The Case of European Employment Policy

Frank Deppe, Michael Felder and Stefan Tidow

in Linking EU and National Governance

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199252268
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601040 | DOI:
 Structuring the State—The Case of European Employment Policy

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Chapter 9 focuses on a new quality of linkages between the European and the national levels of governance in the area of European employment policy where ‘soft’ techniques of integration such as best practice procedures and benchmarking and the employment programmes of the European Social Funds prevail. However, so the argument goes, ‘soft’ forms of governance are much more than symbolic politics and may cause ‘hard’ effects. European employment policy is an instructive case demonstrating not only the structural change of European policy but also the (re-)structuring of the nation state by European integration. Thus, notable shifts in European employment policy are identified in three dimensions: (a) a reduced range of politics, (b) the dominance of criteria of economic rationality, and (c) a new demarcation between the public and the private sphere. Eventually, the division of labour between European and national governance will be altered by the open method of coordination in European employment policy as this ‘soft’ governance mechanism effectively blurs the boundaries between EU and member state responsibilities.

Keywords: (re-)structuring of the nation state; European employment policy; open method of coordination; soft techniques of integration; structural change of European policy

Chapter.  10259 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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