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European influences on member states' employment policies?

Working Paper by Reimut Zohlnhöfer and Tobias Ostheim

Reimut Zohlnhöfer and Tobias Ostheim: European influences on member states' employment policies? The impact of the European Employment Strategy on German labour market policies

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This paper was developed within the project "The Impact of EU Enlargement on European Integration and the Global Political Economy" that the C·A·P jointly conducts with the Centre for European Studies at the Renmin University of China. This project is supported by the European Commission in the framework of the EU-China European Studies Centres Programme.

11.06.2007 · EU-China European Studies


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The paper analyses the European Employment Strategy's impact on German policies. The Luxembourg Process contains concrete, quantitative objectives as well as relatively heterogeneous suggestions that allow rather antithetic national policies. Nevertheless, it marks a specific European path, emphasizing state-led activation strategies. Applying clear and verifiable criteria, we analyse the impact of the guidelines, the quantified objectives and the recommendations on German employment policies and find that they selectively influenced German policies, normally catalysing existing policies ('intensifier effects'), but sometimes also inducing a policy change ('steering effects'). The impact varies depending on the concreteness of the guidelines and the party composition of the government.




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