From Luxembourg to Lisbon and beyond: Making the Employment Strategy work

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Publication Date 2002
ISBN 90-6779-170-9
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Book abstract:

Whilst economic and monetary Europe has proceeded at a pace over the last decade, social Europe is widely seen to have lacked behind. It was only after Sweden became a member in 1995 that the social aims of the EU became a bit more ambitious and a new Title specifically on employment was introduced in the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997. On the initiative of Lionel Jospin an Extraordinary European Council on Employment took place in Luxembourg in 1997 with the aim of 'giving body' to the new Employment title. This book looks at the development of the European Employment Strategy (EES) since the Luxembourg European Council and examines how much can be achieved from this form of non-binding policy co-ordination.

Through a series of papers presented at a conference in Maastricht in 2002, this book examines the European Employment Strategy from a number of perspectives. The first four papers examine in detail the European Employment Strategy as an example of the open method of co-ordination. This is followed by a brief case study of the experience of the EES in the Netherlands. The view of UNICE, Europe's prominent employers confederation, of the employment strategy is then discussed and this is contrasted by the following paper which outlines the trade unions' positions on the employment strategy. The final papers provide a peer review of the EES, an analysis of the modernisation in European Public Employment Services and a discussion of whether the EES and the Structural Funds can be joined to form one EU employment policy. The book concludes by looking to the future and the implications of enlargement on the employment strategy.

Edward Best is head of unit at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht, the Netherlands where Daniella Bossaert is a lecturer.

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