EU Governance, Social Protection and Employment Policies in Europe
Edited by Jean-Claude Barbier, Ralf Rogowski and Fabrice Colomb
Chapter 5: In search of a European Employment Strategy: The construction of the ‘job quality’ agenda as an illustrative case
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.
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