This article addresses the question of the relevance of the most recent soft policy instrument of the EU, the open method of coordination (OMC), for organising actions at European level in politically sensitive areas. In addition to describing its origins and operational principles, we will compare its application to the areas of employment and social inclusion. Two hypotheses make up the structure of the text. The first is that the discourses produced in the framework of OMC in the areas of employment and social inclusion are broad enough to cater to the different welfare models, but that the changes to be made by the Member States to be in line with the European discourses differ considerably, depending on their welfare state family and their initial situation. The second is that the form of OMC is variable, depending on policy area. Our conclusions confirm both of these hypotheses.
|European Law Journal
|Udgivet - 2002