Surviving the EU? The future for national employment models in Europe

Jill Rubery, Gerhard Bosch and Steffen Lehndorff

The claim by the European Union (EU) to be both the moder­ni­ser and the effec­tive
saviour of dis­tinc­tive European ways of doing things is chal­len­ged by this review of
the multi-tiered influ­ence of the EU on change in natio­nal models. Competition and
macroeco­no­mic policy is argued to be more signi­fi­cant than soft law in resha­ping
natio­nal models and in cons­trai­ning inno­va­tion and change to meet new con­di­ti­ons.
Lip ser­vice is paid by the EU to dif­fe­rent paths of deve­lop­ment, but the con­tra­dic­tions
and syn­er­gies across insti­tu­tio­nal and policy approa­ches that under­pin the notion of
varie­ties of capi­ta­lism go unre­cognised. European employ­ment models are seen as
pri­ma­rily con­tri­bu­ting to social pro­tec­tion, but the poten­tial role for dis­tinc­tive
models to pro­mote com­pa­ra­tive advan­tage, as under varie­ties of capi­ta­lism ana­ly­sis,
is not on the policy agenda.

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