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Comparing employment strategies: EES,GEA, JS . Labour Market Reform in the European Union, THE CICERO FOUNDATION Paris 23-24 February 2006. Peter Auer Chief, Employment Analysis and Research Employment Strategy Department ILO, Geneva. Global and regional employment strategies. OECD.

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Comparing employment strategies ees gea js l.jpg

Comparing employment strategies: EES,GEA, JS

Labour Market Reform in the European Union, THE CICERO FOUNDATION

Paris 23-24 February 2006

Peter Auer

Chief, Employment Analysis and Research

Employment Strategy Department

ILO, Geneva

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Global and regional employment strategies



Jobs Strategy





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Discussion points

  • The EES, GEA and the OECD Jobs strategy compared

  • The achilles heel of strategies: follow-up, monitoring and feed-back.

  • The EES as a model case?

  • Strategies and Labour law

  • Conclusion and policy recommendations

Common goals entrepreneurship skills and training active labour market policies l.jpg
Common goals: entrepreneurship, skills and training, active labour market policies

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Similarities and differences: ALMP policy



  • Different emphasis on supply and demand side LMP measures

  • Narrow vs. Broader concept of evaluation

  • GEA, EES more emphasis on social dialogue

  • GEA: Broader view on LMP and LM institutions as one instrument to cope with negative effects of globalization

  • EES/(GEA): life cycle, transitions

  • Important policy tool for all strategies

  • Especially for target groups

  • Shared view on « activation »

  • ALMP one element of flexi-curity

  • Shared view on necessity toimprove effectiveness

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Differences in implementation and follow-up policy

  • Implementation by countries, through the open method of coordination (OMC)/benchmarking, NAP (NRP), JR, Recommendations; peer reviews, new 3 year programming cycles

  • Implementation and follow up « in construction »; through governing body reporting, some first country cases, part of decent work programming


  • Ad hoc implementation by countries, revision pending

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Particularity of the EES policy


  • New 3 years IG cycle: integration of economic and employment objectives will in future also integrate structural funds .Before (and still valid) annual cycles of reporting on EES guidelines through NAPs (now NRP), JERs, Recommendations.


Convergence through benchmarking/comparison

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Example of a goal: Employmen rate for older workers policy

Targets: employment rates, older workers

Target will (most probably) not be reached !

42,5 in 2004, EU25 41,0 Best: SE (69,1), Worst: POL (26,2)

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Employment strategies : do (better) than thy neighbour? policy

  • The strategies presented are supranational. Therefore they are not, even in the case of the European Employment Strategy(EES),laws.

  • They might inspire national laws, their prescriptions can be guiding but even the EES has no sanction potential other than peer pressure, the pressure of other EU countries.

  • An interesting „soft law“ is the method of open coordination which aims at convergence by comparison: but adherance is voluntary. Principles are: subsidiarity, convergence, MbO, multilateral surveillance, integrated approach

  • Convergence by comparison, without being coercive, could be a quite powerful means of achieving overall employment results. However, the different situation in each unit of comparison (country, region, local unit) has to be taken into account.

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Conclusion and recommendations policy

  • some conditions to advance national employment strategies and laws:

    • Important to avoid status of pure declaration, which is the nature of general strategies

    • Development of local and national objectives which are in coherence with problems and means available (funds, institutions and instruments)

    • Implementation through effective labour market institutions (e.g. public employment services) and policies

    • Good key labour market statistics which permit monitoring of objectives and (e.g. interregional) convergence through benchmarking in annual or pluriannual cycles

    • Periodic evaluation

    • Need for building/reinforcing actors and institutions of the social dialogue

    • Importance of macroeconomic policies and policy integration for more labour demand