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Multi-Level Governance in the European Employment and Labour Market Policy: A Conceptual Outline and Some Empirical Evidence

GPS, Vol. 1 No. 1, (2001)

Employment and labour market policy is a fairly new field in the European policy making process. Its complexity makes the sustained improvement of the unemployment problem difficult. This is not only because of the structural restrictions on state intervention in capitalistic economies, but also it is not easy to formulate and implement the appropriate policy owing to problems at member state level and the institutional obstacles to the EU's ability to act. Thus relatively open structures like policy networks and "soft forms" of governance are the most appropriate means to create the requisite internal complexity and allow for linkages between different levels and political systems, in order to deal with the problem adequately.

In order to investigate this topic, we would first like to present a few conceptual basics (1), and reconstruct the evolution of the European employment and labour market policy (2). In conclusion a number of hypotheses regarding the aspect of implementation in particular will be presented (3). This should allow one to gain an insight into the EU's ability to govern. We would like to point out that the following considerations result from a research project that has only just begun.

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