The Impact of Policy Retrenchment in Europe
Christine Erhel, Jérôme Gautié and Bernard Gazier
The European Employment Strategy is a key pillar of risk management at the European level. The ‘job quality’ agenda is a good illustration of the construction of an important component of the European Employment Strategy, in terms of its conception and implementation. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the evolution of this agenda. It shows that the process around job quality is characterised by strong hesitations at the European level, but also by a semi-autonomous process, which can be described as a bottom-up, deepening of the issue. The hesitations at the European level can be understood as the result of competing agendas – the ‘flexibilisation’ agenda promoted by the OECD and the IMF, and the ‘Decent Work’ agenda promoted by the ILO. Job quality has also been a fluctuating priority for social partners. But some actors at different levels seem to have committed themselves to a deepening process, as illustrated by some initiatives taken at national or regional level.